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Sit on its hands

[ 2011-12-07 10:35]     字号 [] [] []  
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Sit on its handsThe Fed’s extraordinary intervention should impress upon the European Central Bank, as well as its paymasters in Germany, that it is high time it stopped sitting on its hands.

My comments:

Children in kindergarten are sometimes asked to literally sit on their hands while listening to the teacher in class. With their hands thus tied, the children won’t be able to move, much less play with their hands, let alone fighting with one another.

Hence, by extension and figuratively speaking, to sit on one’s hands suggests that someone just sits there, remains idle and does nothing in, say, a time of crisis when he should be taking action – doing something.

In the above example, Germany is accused of having been sitting on its hands, i.e. of inaction, when clearly it is expected to have done something to ease the euro crisis.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.