Alligator Arms

“Making Heads or Tails of Idioms” Newsletter. Volume 1. Issue 5. Part 2 of 2.

Original Release: 12/20/2010

**Special Edition** Pop Culture Idioms

What was said?  “Oh ya, then you’ll hug me with those alligator arms of yours.”

Did someone really say that? YES! A partner was on the phone with the client talking about a potential dinner… the client asked the partner to dinner, the partner said yes, then the client quietly said the phrase above…no one paid any attention to it… if they only knew what it meant.

What does it mean?  “Alligator Arms” – this made me think of Semine’s T-Rex skit with a different twist. Alligator’s as we all know have short arms, and the phrase to have alligator arms refers to someone who doesn’t reach for their wallet when the bill comes, or doesn’t reach for the check (basically a cheapo). Another meaning for this 21st century term is an American football reference when an offensive player (he or she) cowardly decides not to catch a football due to the anticipation of physical contact.

Origin: Probably from alligators.


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