"pins & needles"?

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Thu Oct 10 16:03:32 UTC 2002

At 10:40 AM 10/10/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>David Bergdahl writes:
> >Nope--heard it all my life (I grew up in the 40s and 50s on suburban LI)
> >
> >--On Thursday, October 10, 2002 8:52 AM -0400 sagehen
> ><sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM> wrote:
> >
> >> In describing the state of alarm & nervous expectation experienced by
> >> people in the D.C. area because of the recent sniper shootings, a reporter
> >> on NPR this morning used the expression  "on pins & needles" where I'd
> >> have expected "on tenterhooks."  Anyone else find this odd?
> >> A. Murie
>   ~~~~~~~
>I wasn't questioning the viability of "pins & needles" (usually occurring
>in reference to restoration of feeling after numbing, for instance), just
>this particular context.

The restoration of feeling usage is minor, I suspect; my only acquaintance
with the phrase is metaphorical.

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