7 Comments

  1. Ah, yes, probably. “Put my hand up” would have been more neutral (though that would also work for putting a hand up a victim’s shirt) but “stick” has more of a connotation of aggressiveness: sticking your nose into other people’s business, stick it where the sun don’t shine and so on. “Stuck” implies something unwanted, in a way that “put” doesn’t.

    Though a “stuck” dismount is wanted, of course.

  2. …or maybe the new kid is just very tall?

    That still doesn’t explain why Elmo would’ve gotten in trouble.

  3. When you “stick” your hand in the air it means you keep it there, past the point of say, when a person has answered the question at hand. If one raises their hand, possibly at a time where such a thing was not requested, and they leave it in the air, possibly wiggling a finger ever so slightly, they have stuck their hand in the air. This is an old expression.

    While we might NOT mention the term “hand” for holding the animal in the air long enough for it to be enjoyed by the new friend,.. to the teacher, it was a hand stuck in the air. One might say he stuck his [partially hidden?] hamster in the air.

    And, by the way, I also failed to remember this usage when I read the comic and if felt strange. The OED didn’t mention the expression but my reading the verb definitions did unlock the flood of memories which ensued. “sticking their hand in the air” used to be used everywhere including several books I’ve read.

    Something about this panel made us forget.

  4. Hold the animal up in the air for friend to see – teacher thinks he is volunteering to answer question – does not, strike one, teacher see animal – strike two – he is almost down for the count and certainly in trouble.

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