Dead man's hand

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Dead man's hand a charm to discover hidden treasure, &c., made from a mandrake root, or the hand of a man who has been executed, holding a candle
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hand; in all Teut. tongues, perh. rel. to Goth. hinthan, to seize.

Usage

In literature:

Or got ye it off a dead man's hand?
"Ballads of Romance and Chivalry" by Frank Sidgwick
If the man's dead I'm going to sail back to port and hand this man over to the authorities.
"Old Gold" by George Manville Fenn
Joe took the light from Josie's hand and turned it upon a curious object that until now had been hidden by the dead man's body.
"Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls" by Edith Van Dyne (AKA L. Frank Baum)
Putting out his hands, they came flat against a dead man's face.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
The dead man's cloak fell from my arm; I uttered a cry of anguish; I clasped my hands and lifted them to God, and looked up to Him.
"The Frozen Pirate" by W. Clark Russell
He was Lake's right hand man; a deadly marksman and utterly without fear.
"Space Prison" by Tom Godwin
The priest looked at her; she took the dead man's right hand in hers.
"Special Messenger" by Robert W. Chambers
Clarke's dead hand seemed at the instant more powerful than the living man had been.
"The Tyranny of the Dark" by Hamlin Garland
The Dead Man's hand was raised in unspoken benediction.
"The Return of Peter Grimm" by David Belasco
Fearfully had that ball sped fired by a dead man's hand.
"Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy" by Anonymous
Mrs. Ritson, strangely quiet, strangely calm, stepped to the opposite side of the bed, and placed one hand on the dead man's breast.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
Porter shouted at him, but received no reply; then, putting his hand on the man's shoulder, found him dead.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
Then letting fall the dead man's hand, she wrote her own name firmly into the blank space.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 363, January, 1846" by Various
Morgan instantly snatched a pistol from de Lussan's hand and shot the man dead.
"Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
Still nearer to the dead man's hands, unhidden by papers, was a boot-lace.
"The Valley of Silent Men" by James Oliver Curwood
Iredale snatched the pistol from the dead man's hand.
"The Hound From The North" by Ridgwell Cullum
One of them pointed to the dead man's belt, and spread out his hands.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931" by Various
See her how she nervously grasps that dead man's hand, how she imprints kisses on his lips!
"Ancient and Modern Celebrated Freethinkers" by Charles Bradlaugh, A. Collins, and J. Watts
I had placed the dead man's letter in her hand, and she was reading it breathlessly, her sweet face blanched, her tiny hands trembling.
"The Count's Chauffeur" by William Le Queux
A dead man's hand is said to have the power of curing wens and other excrescences of the neck.
"Lancashire Folk-lore" by John Harland
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In poetry:

One man, at the corner's turning,
Quite dead. And they stoop or stand--
In his heart a dagger burning,
And a red rose crushed in his hand.
"The Alcaldeā€™s Daughter" by Madison Julius Cawein
When Te Deums seek the skies,
When the Organ shakes the Dome,
A dead man shall stand
At each live man's hand -
For they also have come home.
"The Homecoming" by Joseph Johnston Lee
The witch lady walked along the strand,
Heard a roaring of the sea,
On the edge of a pool saw a dead man's hand,
Good thing for a witch lady!
"The Dead Hand" by George MacDonald
And kissed the dead man's matted hair--
Lifted his face and kissed him there--
Called to him, as she clutched his hand,
In words no one could understand.
"Mr. What's-His-Name" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand.
Alpha pair Kitty and Ben have decided to make it official - elope to Vegas in Carrie Vaughan's "Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand".
The Murder and Merriment Interactive Murder Mystery Theatre Troupe will host "Dead Man's Hand," a murder-mystery dinner theater Friday and Saturday.
Dead Man's Hand (Dan Brown Photography@Flickr).
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