Science2 mins ago
'Hand over foot/fist'
I recently heard the phrase 'selling hand over foot', but I've also heard of 'hand over fist'. Do they mean the same thing? What do they mean and from where/what did they originate? Thanks all!
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As Parametric says "hand over fist" means to do something very fast, and was probably originally a naval expression derived from fast rope climbing. But the only context it is usually used in nowadays is making money - eg "he's started a new business, and is making money hand over fist". To me it sounds odd to say that somebody is selling something hand over fist. As for "hand over foot", yes, people do say and write it, but I think what they really mean is "hand over fist" - after all, unless you're a contortionist, your hand is always over your foot, so what could the expression signify?