General English


  • noun the hand. A shortening of ‘mitten’, first used to mean glove (particularly in boxing and baseball) and, later, the hand. This American slang term, popular among pugilists and underworld ‘tough guys’, crossed the Atlantic in the early 20th century. ‘Mitten’ itself is from an old french word (mitain(e)) which was either a pet name for a cat or a corruption of the Latin media; half(-fingered).