on a string


Under someone's control, as in She'll drop everything whenever Sam asks for something—he's got her on a string. This expression, alluding to pulling an animal on a leash, dates from the late 1500s, when it was put as in a string.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU GUESS THESE WORDS FROM AROUND THE US?

American English is not always as it appears to be ... get to know regional words in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.