Adjective – Closefisted
Literally speaking, someone holding their hand tightly closed, in a fist, is closefisted.
And figuratively speaking, closefisted people seem to close their fists around whatever they have, like money or food, and not offer to share it with anyone else. To be closefisted is to be stingy, not giving, not generous.
This word is old: it’s been in English print since 1608. Which makes sense, because it describes a gesture that’s timeless.
Part of speech:
adjective: “she’s a closefisted meanie,” “his whole attitude is closefisted.”
If you prefer, you can use a hyphen: “close-fisted.”
A person who’s closefisted can be called a “close-fist.”
And the quality of being closefisted is “closefistedness.”
how to use it:
This word is easy to understand. And it’s rare, even rarer than “tightfisted,” so it’s perfect for calling attention to just how greedy and/or selfish someone is. It conveys the image of someone clutching onto what they have, rather than handing it to someone else.
And, it’s more clear than the word “hardfisted,” which sometimes means “stingy, unsharing” but other times means “tough, aggressive.”
And, it’s a great alternative in situations when it would seem just a touch too rude to say “tightwad.”
Talk about closefisted people and personalities, closefisted mindsets and perspectives, closefisted attitudes and policies, a closefisted hardness or stubbornness, etc.
“Why would Donald Trump of all people, a notoriously close-fisted billionaire who has said not paying taxes ‘makes me smart,’ leave himself vulnerable to the biggest tax of all?”
— Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes, 9 August 2019
“Being cheap and being frugal are not one and the same. Cheapskates are close-fisted. Cost is their bottom line, and they prioritize their penny-pinching spending habits over quality, value, and time. They’ll invite you over for dinner and then Venmo you for your share of the groceries, calculated to the penny.”
— Megan McDonough, Vox, 9 August 2019