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Also: Close-fisted

Meaning of Idiom 'Tight-Fisted'

To be tight-fisted means to be unwilling to spend money; stingy and miserly. 1


"I would ask my father for a loan but he's so tight-fisted I know he would never help."

"Everyone was surprised when Uncle Paul, the most tight-fisted person in the family, paid for everyone's dinner at the restaurant."

"You'd never know Mr. Garrisson was rich. He's so close-fisted he drives a beat-up junker for a car and lives in a small cottage."


Used since at least the latter half of the 1800's, this idiom alludes to tightly holding on to one's money as if clenching one's fist. A similar idiom tight with money has been used since the early 1900's.

1. Pare, May. Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.

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