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Thumb through an old magazine! What does that mean?

By Mr. Alan, UK - 23rd. Jan. 2007.

When you thumb through a magazine, book or newspaper, you go through it very quickly.

In other words, you don't read it carefully.

That's right!

Here's an example.

I thumbed through your physics textbook. I must say that it is very well written.

Aruba thumbed through her address book and came up with Sander’s telephone number.

By the way, you can also say leafed through. It means the same thing as thumbed through.

For example:

While the wife was getting dressed, the husband leafed through the newspaper.

The examiner leafed through the dissertation.

Did your Chairman thumb through your proposal?

Apparently he didn't leaf through the proposal. His P.A. told me that he went over it very carefully.

And?'

And what?

What did the Chairman think of it?

He gave it the thumbs up.

What does the term thumps up mean?

When you give something the thumbs up, you approve of it.

When Laxman asked his father if he could start building on their new site, his father gave him the thumbs up.

After I received the thumbs up from my boss, I threw a big party at the Silver Plate. I invited all my friends.

Our proposal to widen the roads was given the thumbs up by the local authority.

or

We got the thumbs up from the local authorities to widen the roads.

We got the thumbs up from our parents to see Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.

After seeing the movie Castaway, Rohan gave it the thumbs up.

Tell me, does the expression thumbs down mean the exact opposite of thumbs up?

That's correct. When you give something the thumbs down you do not approve of it.

For example:

The Chairman gave Chandrasekhar's proposal the thumbs down.

When I proposed that we spend the summer in Kodaikanal, my father gave it the thumbs down.

The Union's new proposal, that wages be increased ten per cent across the board, was given the thumbs down by the Management.

Twiddling your thumbs! Does it mean sitting around and doing nothing?

I guess you could say that. When you twiddle your thumbs, you sit around playing with your fingers.

For examples:

Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs. Go and prepare for your physics exam.

While my mother went in for her annual check up, I waited outside twiddling my thumbs.

Why didn't you leaf through some of the old magazines that are usually lying around?

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