golden touch

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From the Greek legend of King Midas, related in chapter XI of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (8 C.E.), whom Dionysus (the god of, among other things, wine and winemaking) gave the power to turn things to gold by touching them. Compare Midas touch.



golden touch (plural golden touches)

  1. (idiomatic) Synonym of Midas touch (the ability to achieve financial reward (or, more generally, success) easily and consistently)
    • 1853 January, “Art. VIII.—1. The House of the Seven Gables; a Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1851. 16mo. pp. 344. 2. The Blithedale Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1852. 16mo. pp. 288. [book review]”, in The North American Review, volume LXXVI, number CLVIII, Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, [], ISSN 0029-2397, OCLC 1041859381, pages 228–229:
      In fine, his [Nathaniel Hawthorne's] golden touch is as unfailing as was that of Midas, and transmutes whatever he lays hand upon. [...] [H]e so transforms incidents and transactions of the most trivial character, as to render them grand, pathetic, or grotesque. [...] His golden touch, we would then say, imposes no superficial glitter, but brings out upon the surface, and concentrates into luminous points, the interior gilding, which is attached to the meanest objects and the lowliest scenes by their contact with the realm of sentiment, emotion, and spiritual life.
    • 1966, David Sanders, “John Hersey: War Correspondent into Novelist”, in Ray B[roadus] Browne, Donald M. Winkelman, and Allen Hayman, editors, New Voices in American Studies, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Studies, published April 1968, OCLC 1034578860, page 49:
      On May 8, 1945—V.E. Day—John Hersey won the Pulitzer Prize for his first novel, A Bell for Adano. Twenty years later, with the appearance of his eleventh book, White Lotus, he has been told that while he once aspired to have a silver tongue, he has been given instead a golden touch; that instead of writing literature for all time, he has written books that make the Book-of-the-Month Club. Hersey should not have been discouraged by such remarks.
    • 1986, Robert Barnard, Political Suicide (Collins Crime Club)‎[1], London: Collins, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Scribner, 2014, →ISBN:
      "He's something of a whiz-kid in City matters, you know. The golden touch, in a modest kind of way." He looked around his sitting-room, as if to say there were golden touches and golden touches. "As a matter of fact that happens to be my form of bingo too. So we've been … thrown together, on occasion."
    • 1996, F. R. Berchem, “Northward Growth (1875–1914)”, in Opportunity Road: Yonge Street 1860 to 1939, Toronto, Ont.: Natural Heritage/Natural History, →ISBN, page 78:
      The extension [of the Toronto Street Railway's Avenue Road streetcar line] was not only convenient, it also added considerably to the value of Benvenuto and the property around it. When it came to railways, [William] Mackenzie had all of the Scotsman's golden touch.
    • 2011, Peter Murphy, “Public Relations Guide for New Precrime Officers”, in D. E. Wittkower, editor, Philip K. Dick and Philosophy: Do Androids have Kindred Spirits? (Popular Culture and Philosophy; 63), Chicago; La Salle, Ill.: Open Court Publishing Company, →ISBN, section 03.2 (Track-record Evidence Establishes Guilt), page 212:
      What if the precogs have somehow lost their golden touch and their predictions are no longer impeccable? What if some errors of commission, or some errors of omission, have slipped in? How can we know that they haven't?
    • 2011, June Skinner Sawyers, “I is Someone Else”, in Bob Dylan: New York (MusicPlace Series), Berkeley, Calif.: Roaring Forties Press, →ISBN, page 33:
      [John] Hammond had high expectations for [Bob] Dylan. After all, he had a reputation to maintain. He had a lot riding on Dylan—not the least that he wanted to prove to the executives at Columbia that he still had the golden touch.
    • 2012, Elisha Goldstein, “You Are Imperfect Just as You Are”, in The Now Effect: How a Mindful Moment can Change the Rest of Your Life, New York, N.Y.: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, 1st Atria Paperback edition, Atria Paperback, →ISBN, page 176:
      He was respected, climbing up the corporate ladder, and receiving accolades from his colleagues for all his good work. On the outside, he was the guy everyone wanted to be; people said he had the golden touch. However, [...] he believed his success was like a house of cards that could come crashing down at any moment because, in his mind, he was a fake, and somehow he had been fooling people for a long time.
    • 2018 June 18, Phil McNulty, “Tunisia 1 – 2 England”, in BBC Sport[2], archived from the original on 21 April 2019:
      Luckily for England, they have a world-class striker with a golden touch in [Harry] Kane, who was coolness personified to carefully direct in the winner.


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