Handle

He has a handle to his name. Some title, as “lord,” “sir,” “doctor.” The French say Monsicur sans queue, a man without a tail (handle to his name).

To give a handle to
... To give grounds for suspicion; as, “He certainly gave a handle to the rumour.”

“He gave a handle to his enemies, and threw stumbling-blocks in the way of his friends.” —Hazlitt: Spirit of the Age (James Macintosh), p. 139.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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