on tenterhooks


a feeling of anxiety (Besorgnis)

TRANSLATION

on tenterhooks = wie auf heißen Kohlen sitzen keep on tenterhooks = jemanden zappeln lassen --- GOOGLE INDEX on tenterhooks: 193,000 Google Hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

Oil increases as marketplaces ON TENTERHOOKS before Brexit election. Oil prices rose in Asian buying and selling on Thursday, shrugging off a smaller sized sized sized-than-expected insufficient U.S. stockpiles.

BBC NEWS

Did you
know?

on tenterhooks
idiomatic phrase

1) to be held in a state of nervous apprehension

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.

2) worried or anxious about something that is going to happen

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

--
ORIGIN

On tenterhooks comes from one of the processes of making woollen cloth. After the cloth was woven and then cleaned, it had to be dried to keep it from shrinking. The wet cloth was stretched on wooden frames, called tenters.

The tenterhooks were the metal hooks used to fix the cloth to the frame. One can imagine that in a state of anxious suspense, one might feel like they are being stretched like a piece of cloth on a tenter.

Tenter comes from the Latin tendere, to stretch. The word has been in the language since the fourteenth century, and on tenters soon after became a phrase meaning painful anxiety.

---
SYNONYMS

in suspense, waiting with bated breath; anxious, nervous, nervy, apprehensive, worried, worried sick, on edge, edgy, tense, strained, stressed, agitated, in a state of nerves, in a state of agitation, fretful, restless, worked up, keyed up, overwrought, wrought up, strung out, jumpy, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth, like a cat on a hot tin roof, fidgety, on pins and needles;

informal: with butterflies in one's stomach, jittery, twitchy, in a state, uptight, wired, in a stew, in a dither, all of a dither, in a sweat, in a flap, in a tizz/tizzy, all of a lather, het up, in a twitter, waiting for the axe to fall; strung up, windy, having kittens

---
SMUGGLE OWAD INTO A CONVERSATION TODAY
say something like:

"We were on tenterhooks waiting for the director's decision."

More Word Quizzes:

whinge

6 years ago

to sleep

SORRY,
please try again...

to complain

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

to celebrate

SORRY,
please try again...

infobesity

6 years ago

not caring about the truth or falsity of information

SORRY,
please try again...

having access to vast amounts of data

SORRY,
please try again...

experiencing negative health effects due to information overload

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

recalcitrant

7 years ago

to be bad at arithmetic and mental calculations

SORRY,
please try again...

to be unwilling to obey orders or follow discipline

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

to be motivated to keep going and not to give up

SORRY,
please try again...

pander

7 years ago

to punish

SORRY,
please try again...

to please

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

to promote

SORRY,
please try again...

old boy network

7 years ago

a powerful network of people in high places

Congrats Your Answer is Correct.

the surviving veterans of World War II

SORRY,
please try again...

a social media chat group of people over 60

SORRY,
please try again...

Copyright © 2000-2024 PSA - All Rights Reserved