What does the idiom "sth comes in handy" mean?

Are you using the idiom sth comes in handy but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the sth comes in handy idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "sth comes in handy"


The phrase "sth comes in handy" is an idiom that is used to describe a situation where something is useful or beneficial in an unexpected and convenient way. It is used to express appreciation or relief when something turns out to be of help to a person in need. When someone uses this idiom, they are indicating that the particular object or situation is being used to their advantage. The expression is also used to suggest that a person is better off or in a better position because of the particular object or situation.


The phrase "sth comes in handy" can be traced back to the early 1800's when it was first recorded in a British journal on May 18th, 1827. It was used to refer to the idea of something being of use or advantage to someone. The phrase has been in common usage since then and has been used in a variety of contexts to refer to situations in which something is of value, use or help to someone.


The phrase "sth comes in handy" is often used to refer to an object or situation that is unexpectedly useful or of help to someone. It can be used both literally and figuratively. For example, a person might use the phrase to refer to a tool they have that is useful for a particular job, or they might use it to refer to a skill they have that becomes useful in a certain situation. It can also be used to refer to someone who provides assistance or help in a difficult situation. The phrase can be used in both informal and formal contexts.

Example Sentences

  • "My spare phone charger came in handy when my battery was running low."
  • "Having a work colleague who is familiar with accounting software came in handy when I had to set up the system for the company."
  • "Having a friend who knows the area well came in handy when we got lost in the city."
  • "I was glad I had a spare umbrella when it started to rain, it came in handy."

The meanings of the words in the "sth comes in handy" idiom

Idioms with similar meaning

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.


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