"pins & needles"?

David Bergdahl bergdahl at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Oct 10 16:21:05 UTC 2002

After being folk etymologized into "tender hooks" it fits anxiety better 'n

--On Thursday, October 10, 2002 12:10 PM -0400 "Baker, John"
<JMB at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:

>         I've heard both meanings of "pins & needles," with the
> metaphorical usage more common.  There is often a suggestion of
> anticipation as well as anxiety:  "I was on pins and needles waiting for
> the test scores."  "On tenterhooks" is far less common in my experience
> (having lived in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and now Maryland in the sniper
> area), and it strikes me that I do not know what a tenterhook is.
> John Baker

"We are all New Yorkers"
       --Dominique Moisi

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