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What Does It Mean to Have a "Golden Touch"?

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  • Written By: Jim B.
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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Having a "golden touch" is an English idiom referring to someone who has the ability to make a great deal of money in every enterprise they try. This phrase can also mean that someone has success in everything he or she does. The origin of the phrase"golden touch" comes from the Greek mythological story of King Midas, who literally turned everything that he touched into gold. His gift brought him great misery, but the usage of this idiom is usually very positive and complimentary.

There are times when a group of words forms a phrase which takes on a meaning that is much different from the meaning it may have started out with when it was first coined. These phrases are known as idioms, which evolve through popular usage and often diverge wildly from the literal definitions of the words they contain. Many of these idioms originated with the colorful stories found in mythology. One of these myth-derived idioms occurs every time someone describes someone else as having a "golden touch."

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In Greek mythology, Midas was a king who was granted the power to turn anything he touched into gold. This is the reason that the phrase is sometimes referred to as the "Midas touch." Midas soon discovered that his gift was a curse, since it made him unable to live a normal life and rendered his beloved daughter a golden statue. Despite the negative outcome of the myth, the phrase "golden touch," which originated from it, has a much more positive association.

The most common usage of this particular idiomatic expression comes when someone is describing someone else's prowess with money. This can range from someone with the ability to choose wise investments to someone who finds jobs that pay a great deal of money. Whatever the case, the phrase implies that the person in question can do no wrong when it comes to money. For example, someone might say, "I can't believe how much money he made on the stock market; I guess he just has the golden touch."

On certain occasions, this idiom is used in situations that have nothing to do with money. It can be used as a way of describing someone who is successful in whatever endeavor he or she might choose to undertake. When used in this way, it can signify either an extremely skillful person or a very lucky one. Consider the sentence, "She really has the golden touch when it comes to choosing furniture, because her house always looks so great."

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