Green Thumb (have a)

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Also: Green Fingers (UK)

Meaning of Idiom 'Green Thumb'

To have a green thumb means to have a special skill for gardening and the ability to make plants grow well.

Usage

While the UK version, green fingers is plural, the American version tends to be used in the singular. However, green thumbs can be used without changing the meaning.

As well, the advective forms green-fingered and green-thumbed are possible.

Examples:

"Lucy's garden is always so beautiful. She really has a green thumb."

"I've tried gardening but the plants always die. I guess I've never had much of a green thumb."

"You are not born with a green thumb," said Mr. Hale, "it takes practice to be a great gardener, just like anything else."

Origin

Dating from the early 1900's, green thumb is thought to allude to the stained fingers of dedicated gardeners. It is probable that the idiom once referred to someone who enjoys gardening but today it has evolved to have a more specific meaning, someone who has a special skill at horticulture.

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