to the end of one's tether

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duden

Senior Member
Slovak
Hi,

I would like to ask you about the idiom "be at the end of one´s tether".

Is it possible to say that someone will have to go / get to the end of their tether? Or is it nonsence?

I want to express that they will have to do absolutely everything they can, that they will have to do their best - they have to try so hard that at the end they will be at the end of their tether. I just don´t know if the verb go (or maybe) get looks good in this phrase or not.

Thank you very much!
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm afraid that in this context you can only talk about your tether once you've arrived at the end of it. Curiously perhaps, you can't talk about it on the way.

    To express what you wish to express, you might say something like 'You will have to go all out '
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I agree with heypresto and zamanda---that said, I could imagine this formulation/construction "They are going to end up at the end of their tether(s)."

    I think. :) It would work in a certain context. I personally would use "rope" instead of "tether" in American English.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Really, Perpend? I would always use tether here. Tether isn't a word that comes up that often otherwise, but when I've heard this idiom used, it usually uses tether. I hear the rope variation too, but not as often as the tether version.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Hi, JustKate, "tether" makes me think of tetherball. I grew up with "at the end of one's rope", but I was pretty darn good at tetherball, let me tell you.:) Oddly enough, the ball is at the end of a rope. Coincidence? :D And, I am now remembering that match where I beat you at the Midwest Tetherball Championships. Remember?
     
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