Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

Lay a (finger/hand) on (someone)

lay a finger on someonelay a hand on someone
Meaning(s)
1) touch someone with the intention of doing harm
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • I never laid a finger on him/her!
  • Analysis
    The expression to 'lay a finger on' someone means to touch or hit someone with the intention of causing physical harm. To 'lay a hand on someone' has a similar meaning to grab or physically touch someone in order to hurt them or to cause violence. To 'lay your hands on something' means to obtain something or to find an object you've been looking for.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Adam's injury did not come from a fight with me. I never laid a finger on him!
    2. I would never lay a hand on my childrenI don't believe in corporal punishment.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Our contracts are union protected, so the boss can't lay a finger on us no matter how much he wants us fired.
    2. The manager strongly refuted the allegation of sexual assault made against him, claiming that he never laid a hand on the employee in question.
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