tenterhooks

We’ve been on tenterhooks since the 17th century, which is an awfully long time to be held in suspense.  And that’s exactly what tenter hooks do – yes they are real things, although you don’t tend to see them much anymore. In days of yore, cloth-makers used them to attach fabric that they were making to frames (known, unsurprisingly, as tenters), and leave them to dry and contract. “Tenter” itself is derived from the Latin tendere, to stretch. These tenters were very common, there’d be entire tenter-fields of ‘em. And so that state of tension became known as “on tenters” and then “on tenterhooks”.

tenterhooks

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One Comment to “tenterhooks”

  1. Ha ha GIVE US PART TWO!

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