Here are the conversation (a quote from The Marvelous Mrs.Masel)

The two characters are preparing for a car to travel, and A is clearing up the backseat of the car.

A: This car is unkempt, to say the least.

B: Hey, lady, I could use another hand.

A: I have to make sure nothing back here gets crushed and wrinkled.

What's the meaning of "I could use another hand"?

  • Please identify the speakers by name, and their relationship. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 15 '18 at 12:47
  • They are preparing to take a trip by car. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 15 '18 at 12:49

When someone asks for a "hand", they are asking for assistance:

8a : assistance or aid especially involving physical effort
// lend a hand

"Another hand" is a variation. It could also suggest that there is already someone helping and the speaker is asking for an additional person to help.

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In conversational America usage "I could use" can mean "I could readily find a use for". A is complaining that the car is in a messy state, and B is saying (in effect) "I only have two hands; I might be able to tidy up the car, as well as all the things I already do, if I had an extra hand (and arm, of course)." B is employing sarcasm ("Hey, lady" suggests this) to imply that A is criticising unfairly or is not doing her fair share of the tasks that arise. In Britain, certainly, a response to a remark like "The house is untidy" could be "I only have one pair of hands!".

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