gripping hand n.

on the gripping hand: used to introduce a third point of view, fact, case, etc., that contrasts with two previous statements

[< on the third hand, extension of on the one hand…on the other hand, after the Moties, a race of aliens in the Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle novel The Mote in God’s Eye (1974) and related works, who have two dextrous hands used for fine work and a third powerful hand for gripping and other strength-based tasks]

  • [1974 L. Niven & J. Pournelle Mote in God’s Eye 167 Larry Niven Jerry Pournelle bibliography

    It left the Motie standing comically on vacuum, its big left hand gripping a ring that jutted out from the hull.]

  • 1986 J. Pournelle in Byte June 296/2 page image Jerry Pournelle

    On the other hand, when I check with knowledgeable friends, they say they haven’t really solved the problem either. On the gripping hand, as the Moties say, I know it can be done.

  • 1993 L. Niven & J. Pournelle Gripping Hand 7 Larry Niven Jerry Pournelle bibliography

    On the one hand, if they shimmy too hard, they may be diseased. On the other, if they don’t shimmy, they haven’t eaten well. On the gripping hand, if they’re too young and healthy they will escape and attempt to eat you.

  • 2005 J. Ringo Emerald Sea 446 page image John Ringo bibliography

    On the gripping hand, we’re planning on feeding them to our dragons.

  • 2008 EDN Magazine 10 Jan. 12/1 page image

    Engineers, on the gripping hand, know that the glass is too large.

  • 2010 E. Flint & M. Kosmatka Time Spike 402 page image Eric Flint Marilyn Kosmatka bibliography

    On the gripping hand…it was difficult to imagine Margo at a Manhattan socialite’s cocktail party.

  • 2017 P. Bright Intel Optane Memory in 24 Apr. page image

    On the one hand it wants to keep SRT as a ‘high-end’ feature (even though it’s the low-end and mid-range audience that stands to yield the most benefit from SRT). On the other hand, it wants to maximize the potential demand for Optane. And on the gripping hand, it wants to create an extra incentive to upgrade to Kaby Lake.

Research requirements

antedating 1986

Research History
Suggested by Bill Mullins

Last modified 2021-07-14 16:44:57
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.