English : sticky fingers

What does the phrase “sticky fingers" mean?

By Ms. Mary, London, UK – 14th Feb. 2007.

Tell me, why do you bring back those silly paintings from the office every weekend? Why don't you just leave them there?

We have been told never to leave anything in our office over the weekend. I understand there are several people who have sticky fingers.

Sticky fingers. Then why don't you get them to wash their hands?

Ha! Ha! That's a good one. When you say that someone has sticky fingers, it implies he/she steals things. It's an expression used in informal contexts.

Here are a few Examples:

• There is a rumor going around that Giovanna has sticky fingers.

• Whenever Sunder visits our place several things go missing. There is no doubt about it. He has sticky fingers.

• My mother got rid of our servant maid because she had sticky fingers and was always taking the small change left on the table.

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