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High-strung (correcting typo)

Posted by R. Berg on March 22, 2007

In Reply to: Highly strung posted by R. Berg on March 22, 2007

: : Hi, I am trying to find the origins of the saying 'highly strung' as in: "He/She is highly strung" meaning "he/she is a bit tense'.

: : Why highly strung though - where did it come from?

RRC provided an origin from musical instruments. The phrase (usually written "high-strung") may come from archery. Besides its meaning of nervous tension, "high-strung" has another sense: it's a synonym for "overstrung," said of a bow whose string is too short. I don't know which is the real origin; both are plausible. ~rb

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