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Old November 01, 2019, 12:32 AM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 10,671
Native Language: American English
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When someone strikes another person, especially a spouse or a child, we say they "rule with an iron fist/hand." But it usually means they act authoritatively, without mercy.
When someone slaps people "just because," we could say that they're slapping people "on a whim." Not much thought is given to the act. Nothing is planned. It could be just for fun. The phrase is neutral. It's not positive or negative. But most people don't slap others just for the fun of it.

"To be free with one's hands" can mean "to be quick to lash out (on somebody)," but it can also mean "to grope" and "to pilfer (rob/steal)."
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