"pins & needles"?

FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Thu Oct 10 17:17:27 UTC 2002

I don't find the expression odd at all.  I know it as describing some sort of anxiety (would never use it for the numbness-usage that has been suggested).  So, the  usage that was heard on NPR doesn't bother me at all.  However, I think there was a song back in the 60's that was called "Needles and Pins." (does anyone know who sang it and what its correct title is?).  But I really have no idea what the 'needles and pins' in the song are for .  The order of words in the phrase 'pins and needles' now sounds a little odd to me, since I have heard that song so many times.  I have never heard 'tenterhooks'.
>>> maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU 10/10/02 08:08AM >>>
>From OR and WA I'd expect "on pins and needles" and find "on tenterhooks"
odd. I know what the expression means but wouldn't use it in speech.

maberry at u.washington.edu

On Thu, 10 Oct 2002, sagehen 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

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