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all thumbs, no instincts

English translation: no connection between the two phrases

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:all thumbs, no instincts
English translation:no connection between the two phrases
Entered by: Monika Rozwarzewska
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17:54 Nov 29, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / sayings
English term or phrase: all thumbs, no instincts
"Also contributing to the baby blues for many parents is the crumbling of confidence - that 'all thumbs, no instincts' feeling - experienced almost universally by first - timers." From an American book.
Monika Rozwarzewska
Poland
Local time: 18:27
no connection between the two phrases
Explanation:
You've got two different, unconnected phrases here describing how new parents feel inadequate and incompetent. "To be all thumbs" means that you feel clumsy - what your hands need to do doesn't come naturally to them, it's as though all your fingers had become thumbs. I don't think "no instincts" refers to any set phrase - it's just saying that what needs to be done doesn't come naturally, one doesn't have an instinctive feel for doing it.
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 17:27
Grading comment
As always, it is difficult to give Kudoz points to just one person. Anyway, thank you - your explanation is very understandable for me
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6that awkward feeling, when nothing comes naturally
Cilian O'Tuama
5 +2being clumsy and having no clue
María Teresa Taylor Oliver
4 +2no connection between the two phrases
Armorel Young
5clumsy and unable to come up with the correct answer on their own
David Russi


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
no connection between the two phrases


Explanation:
You've got two different, unconnected phrases here describing how new parents feel inadequate and incompetent. "To be all thumbs" means that you feel clumsy - what your hands need to do doesn't come naturally to them, it's as though all your fingers had become thumbs. I don't think "no instincts" refers to any set phrase - it's just saying that what needs to be done doesn't come naturally, one doesn't have an instinctive feel for doing it.

Armorel Young
Local time: 17:27
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 64
Grading comment
As always, it is difficult to give Kudoz points to just one person. Anyway, thank you - your explanation is very understandable for me

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Aisha Maniar
6 mins

agree  Lisa Lloyd
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
clumsy and unable to come up with the correct answer on their own


Explanation:
Been there...

David Russi
United States
Local time: 10:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 44
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
that awkward feeling, when nothing comes naturally


Explanation:
you feel out of your depth and don't know what to do

basically it just means 'inexperienced'

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 18:27
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp
14 mins

agree  Refugio
16 mins

agree  NancyLynn
3 hrs

agree  Asghar Bhatti
6 hrs

agree  Saleh Chowdhury, Ph.D.
6 hrs

agree  Java Cafe
6 hrs
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
being clumsy and having no clue


Explanation:
Saying a person is all thumbs means he or she is clumsy...
http://webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=thu...
all thumbs : extremely awkward or clumsy

And the "no insticts" part means they have no clue as to what to do.

Since your text refers to first-time parents, the whole phrase means that they have no idea what to do with the baby. As my mother used to say, no baby comes with an instruction manual :)

María Teresa Taylor Oliver
Panama
Local time: 11:27
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp
13 mins
  -> Thanks, Alexandra.

agree  Java Cafe
6 hrs
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