Learn English Online - Idiomatic Expressions

Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does handle someone with kid gloves mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

handle someone with kid gloves


If you handle someone or something with kid gloves, you treat them delicately or carefully, mainly because of a perceived sensitivity.

The origin of 'handle with kid gloves'

kid gloves were originally made from the skin of a young lamb or goat, a particularly fine, soft material. These gloves were first associated with aristocracy. By the end of the 19th century, the phrase ‘handle with kid gloves’ gained a figurative meaning, that is treating someone or something 'delicately’ or ‘carefully'.

The phrase is contrasted with other expressions containing the term gloves:

- Take off the gloves.
- The gloves are off.
- Handle without gloves.

All the above expressions refer to inflicting harsh treatment to someone or something.


- He has become so sensitive after his divorce. You need to handle him with kid gloves.
- Make sure you handle her kid gloves; she is suffering from depression and anxiety.

This idiom is in the clothes category

More idioms