to win something hands down (1855) is from horse racing, from a jockey's gesture of letting the reins go loose in an easy victory.
The Two Thousand Guinea Stakes was not the best contested one that it has been our fortune to assist at. ... [T]hey were won by Meteor, with Scott for his rider; who went by the post with his hands down, the easiest of all easy half-lengths. Wiseacre certainly did the best in his power to spoil his position, and Misdeal was at one time a little vexatious. [The Sportsman, report from April 26, 1840]
Ancient Greek had akoniti "without a struggle, easily," from akonitos (adj.), literally "without dust," specifically "without the dust of the arena."
late 15c. (implied in applauding), "to express agreement or approval; to praise," from Latin applaudere "to clap the hands in approbation, to approve by clapping hands; to strike upon, beat," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + plaudere "to clap" (see plaudit). The sense of "clap the hands" is from 1590s; the extended meaning arrived in English before the literal. Related: Applauded.
1873, "one who professionally treats hands and fingernails," from French manicure, literally "the care of the hands and fingernails," from Latin manus "hand" (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand") + cura "care" (see cure (n.1)). Meaning "treatment and care of the hands and fingernails" is attested by 1887.
"sea-cow, herbivorous aquatic mammal of the order Manatus," 1550s, from Spanish manati (1530s), from Carib manati "breast, udder." Often associated with Latin manatus "having hands," because the flippers resemble hands. Related: Manatine, manatoid.
also dish-pan, "pan in which dishes are washed," 1858, from dish (n.) + pan (n.). Dishpan hands "inflamed or sore hands caused by housework" is attested by 1935, an advertiser's phrase.
In 1922, Lever Brothers began to advertise Lux in this country to "rid your hands of that dishpan look." Without any break since then the company has alluded to "dishpan hands" which come from using soap that is too strong in alkaline content. [Printers' Ink, vol. 173, 1935]
"a leap," especially using the hands or a pole, 1570s, from vault (v.1).