Where Did the Expression “At the End of His Rope” Come From and What Does the Idiom Mean?

This expression evolved from the phrase “at the end of his tether.”

Such a phrase would have been used to describe a dog or a horse being tied or tethered.

The old phrase was meant to convey a sense of self-restraint, while the new suggests that one has reached or exceeded one’s defined boundaries.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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