There are times when you are worried and excited about something that may or may not happen. The idiom ‘to be on pins and needles’ basically means to be nervous, worried and excited about something that may happen. ‘Pins and needles’ is a popular name for a pricking or a tingling sensation, which accompanies the recovery of feeling in a limb after numbness.
As an idiom you use it when you want to express that you are tensed as you feel something bad may happen. So you nervously wait to see what is going to happen.
Your anxiety levels are high and you are unable to settle and calm your mind as you are waiting for something very important.
For example, there had been a rumor in your office that someone was going to get fired, but no one knew who it would be; so the whole office was on pins on needles all day. That means all were tensed and nervous as they felt something bad was about to happen.
Example 01: Elsie was on pins and needles while receiving her test results from her teacher.
Example 02: Amy was on pins and needles as she was to deliver her first child very soon.
Example 03: Shawn was on pins and needles when he received an email about his suspension from his university.
Example 04: Mario was on pins and needles as he was about to dive for the first time.
Example 05: Being full of mixed emotions on her wedding day, Elizabeth was on pins and needles just before the ceremony.
Example 06: Linda consoled her friend when she was on pins and needles while waiting for her father’s call confirming his safe arrival.
Example 07: At the appraisal meeting, Nancy was on pins and needles when she was questioned about her performance.
Example 08: Even though Richa is a bubbly child, she is always on pins and needles when she has to take an injection.
Example 09: Being a suspicious wife, Kelly is always on pins and needles when she sees her husband texting all the time.
How often are you on pins and needles; and why?