finger to the wind

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

finger to the wind (plural fingers to the wind)

  1. (idiomatic) Attention to prevailing trends, as of opinion or power.
    A crafty man-of-the-world keeps his finger to the wind.
    • 1986 January 26, ROBERT REINHOLD, “ADOBE'S SEER: B. J. PEVEHOUSE; DIGGING IN AS OIL PRICES SLIDE”, in NY Times:
      At the height of the great oil boom, in the frenzied summer of 1981 when everybody said oil prices could go nowhere but up, the crafty old Texas wildcatter put his finger to the wind and decided it was not going to last much longer.
    • 2011, David Leheny, “Four Cultures of Japanese Politics”, in Victoria Bestor, ‎Theodore C. Bestor, ‎Akiko Yamagata, editors, Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society:
      The DPJ, in this view, had pursued a similar path: riding to power on the back of telegenic politicians and with a finger-to-the-wind fidelity to public opinion polls, the party had allowed, in effect, the mass media to dictate outcomes
    • 2015 February 20, Stephanie Merry, “When it comes to Oscar predictions, whom can you trust?”, in Washington Post:
      How they choose: They hold up a finger to the winds of recent awards results
    • 2017 May 25, “The Tory manifesto doesn't add up – and school breakfasts prove it”, in The Guardian:
      This is a reform that the ancien regime, always with a finger to the wind of public opinion, spotted as an electoral nightmare and ducked.

See also[edit]