I swear by all that is electronically keyboardable, that this is the last as well as the first time you’ll ever see me use the word, “tenterhooks.” Who knew it had a real base and that the word would cause me a desire to speak with Merriam-Webster about hyphenating it?
Indeed, I looked it up to make sure it aligned with the meaning in my mind. It did: a “being on needles-and-pins” thing. Last week nearly took the cake (I’ll have to look that one up, too, as well as “on needles-and-pins”) on that.
Being on tenterhooks is akin to being on fire, if invisibly and without physical pain — one can think of nothing good at this time. One can think of nothing else at this time for longer than 30 or so seconds. Things simply have to get better before we’re freed from the hooks.