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sticky fingers

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plural noun Informal.
  1. a propensity to steal.

Origin of sticky fingers

First recorded in 1930–35
Related formsstick·y-fin·gered [stik-ee-fing-gerd] /ˈstɪk iˈfɪŋ gərd/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Idioms and Phrases with sticky fingers

sticky fingers

A propensity to steal, as in You'd better not leave any cash around; she's known for her sticky fingers. This metaphor makes it seem as if valuables adhere naturally to a thief's fingers. [Colloquial; late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.