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See also: hamfisted


Alternative forms[edit]


From ham (overacting inferior performer; actor of low grade; incompetent pugilist) +‎ fisted.


ham-fisted (comparative more ham-fisted, superlative most ham-fisted)

  1. Lacking skill in physical movement, especially with the hands.
    Synonyms: cack-handed, clumsy, ham-handed, mutton-fisted
    Antonyms: dexterous, skillful
  2. (by extension) Lacking skill in general.
    Synonyms: bungling, incompetent
    Antonym: skillful
    • 2008 December 6, “Jean has done Canada a favour”, in Kingston Whig-Standard[1]:
      Harper has a few weeks' grace, during which he and his ham-fisted finance minister, Jim Flaherty, can ponder the error of their ways.
    • 2019 November 13, Dorian Lynskey, “Bowie’s Books and Why Bowie Matters review – a manic turnover of new ideas”, in The Guardian[2]:
      She had rebuffed every request since the hamfisted 1956 movie version starring Edmond O’Brien, and was never likely to make an exception for a glam-rock dandy, but he was sorely aggrieved.
    • 2023 September 6, Nigel Harris, “Comment: Leaderless and rudderless”, in RAIL, number 991, page 3:
      What an utter farce. Just like DfT's ham-fisted, blundering ticket office closure programme.