to have a big hand

Hello people! I need some help)

Here's a small excerpt from NPR 7AM ET News:

...'White House observers expect President Obama to announce his pick for a top economic adviser next week, when he returns from his vacation in Hawaii.The new adviser will replace Larry Summers, who returns to a teaching position at Harvard. And a new appointee will have a big hand in ongoing efforts to help the economy and create jobs.' ...

Could you please clarify the meaning of this collocation/idiom? (in bold)
All I've managed to get on this was a spoken phrase 'to give a big hand for smb' meaning 'to clap your hands' , but it doesn't make any sense in my case.
I have some ideas in my mind, though. The phrase may imply that the appointee is going to be able to make important decisions and be one of the leading figures in the American economy. I'm not sure about the connotation, either it's the freedom to make any decisions or the power to influence the economy.

Thanks in advance:)
 
Last edited:
  • bangla

    Member
    Bangla
    Hello people! I need some help)

    Here's a small exerpt from NPR 7AM ET News:

    ...'White House observers expect President Obama to announce his pick for a top economic adviser next week, when he returns from his vacation in Hawaii.The new adviser will replace Larry Summers, who returns to a teaching position at Harvard. And a new appointee will have a big hand in ongoing efforts to help the economy and create jobs.' ...

    Could you please clarify the meaning of this collocation/idiom? (in bold)
    All I've managed to get on this was a spoken phrase 'to give a big hand for smb' meaning 'to clap your hands' , but it doesn't make any sense in my case.
    I have some ideas in my mind, though. The phrase may imply that the appointee is going to be able to make important decisions and be one of the leading figures in the American economy. I'm not sure about the connotation, either it's the freedom to make any decisions or the power to influence the economy.

    Thanks in advance:)
    Yes you are absolutely right 'to give a big hand for somebody means 'to clap your hands' but in this case it does not mean so.
    In this case it means a new appointee will be praised in ongoing efforts to help the economy and create jobs.'
    Thank you:)
     

    airportzombie

    Senior Member
    English - CaE/AmE
    The idiom is to have a hand in something, which means participating or being actively engaged or involved in some activity. Having a big hand in something refers to a much more active participation, if not being a major participant in the efforts.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I am sorry, but both of you have misunderstood. To have a "big hand" in something has nothing whatever to do with applause, congratulations, or praise.

    It means to "take a large role" or "a large part" in some activity or effort. In this case, the new appointee (not yet named) will be one of the principal economic policymakers and will thus play a large role or take a large part (as in a "part" in a play) in the administration attempts to "help the economy and create jobs."

    Only if the administration is successful in these efforts will the new appointee get or receive a big hand (thunderous applause) for what he or she did.
     
    Thank you, guys. Now it's clear.
    Hmm..all I had to do was to leave out 'big' when looking it up in a dictionary. That's what my monolingual dictionary says:
    have a hand in something to influence or be involved in something
    Using a dictionary effectively isn't as easy as may seem) sometimes using your brain may come in handy
    Have a nice day!




     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Suppose my friend was getting all worked up about me criticizing a computer application. I didn't understand his overreaction to my criticism, so I said "Why are you so worked up about my criticism? Do you have a hand in it?"

    Can "Do you have a hand in it" be used as a confrontational question to someone who is so hell bent on defending something with which you disagree.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    No, that doesn't sound right to me. When a person has a hand in doing something, he is partly responsible for causing or making it. That doesn't seem to apply here (where the "it" is "my criticism").
     
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