avoir la main mouillée

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KittyKitty

Member
English
Hello- I'm trying to work out the meaning of "la main mouillée" in the following context:

"Il a beaucoup d’argent, ça il a la main mouillée !"

Merci d'avance!
 
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  • Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    Um, I didn't know this expression. I know " Avoir la main lourde " , but, " Avoir la main mouillée" ...

    I guess it means He's got much money, there's something shifty about that guy.

    Mouillé, just like Tremper (literally, to soak) dans des affaires pas nettes (Be involved in a fishy affair)
     

    Mag38

    Senior Member
    French (provincial!)
    I never heard it either, but I would assume it has to do with one way to say "cash" in French: "l'argent liquide" (don't ask me why...*).
    If you imagine this person having a lot of that in their pocket, you can figure what it must be like when they reach for it: they get wet hands...
    Just a guess!

    *you can ask why after all! The website expressio.fr gives this explanation:
    Cette appellation vient au XVe siècle de l'italien 'liquido' qui, dans le domaine juridique et financier, désignait des biens non sujets à contestation, libres de dettes, donc aisément transférables (pouvant "s'écouler" facilement) d'une personne à une autre, comme l'est la monnaie à laquelle ce terme s'est étendu au XVIIe.
     
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