Idle Hands Are the Devil's Tools (Origin)
What Is the Origin of the Saying "Idle Hands Are the Devil's Tools"?The term "idle hands are the devil's tools" means a bored person is more likely to find mischief. (This saying is also seen as "idle hands are the devil's workshop" or "idle hands are the devil's playground.")
Examples of Use:
- The unemployed youngsters who hang around the park have robbed the corner shop again. Idle hands are the devil's tools.
- We need to find something for Jennifer to do while we're at your mother's. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, and I don't want another lecture off your mum.
- So, you've spent your whole day off eating biscuits! You know what they say. Idle hands.... (Often the saying is truncated. The listener is expected to know the rest of the proverb.)
- An ungodly man diggeth up evil (King James version, 1611)
- Fac et aliquid operis, ut semper te diabolus inveniat occupatum (writings of St. Jerome form the 4th century) (This translates as "Engage in some occupation, so that the devil may always find you busy." It is assumed that St. Jerome took this from Proverbs 16:27.)
- Idle hands are the devil's workshop (The literal translation in the The Living Bible is given as "A worthless man devises mischief.")
- "For Solomon says that idleness teaches a man to do many evil things." (According to the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, Solomon was a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the United Kingdom of Israel.)
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