giving someone a hand up

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Senior Member
From "Influence" by Maddy Dychtwald and Christine Larson:
"If you have a woman and a man and people know nothing about either, they ascribe certain characteristics to them. For women, it’s that she listens better, she asks the kinds of questions I’d like to ask, that she favors more transparency, that she’ll reach out to other groups not at the table. These perceptions seem to be universal and they give women a hand up."
Does "giving someone a hand up" usually mean help? I wonder if it can also suggest "praise" ?
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Giving someone "a hand" can mean praise, when it implies applause. But "a hand up" implies giving them help. The fundamental meaning is to reach out your hand to help them stand up from a sitting or prone position, but it is also used methaphorically.
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