Dogmatic Logo
The Canine in Conversation
contents page back to last page visited reload this page prior page in site next page in site
CONTENTS BACK RELOAD PRIOR NEXT
a black and white illustration of a noose
figure 1  

 

end of one's tether or rope. To have exhausted all your options or to be ready to break.reference 1

The phrase likely referred originally to all kinds of agricultural and domestic animals.  These days, in the U.S., few of us tether any creature, and, dogs are far and away the most likely candidates.  It should be noted that coming to the end of “one’s” rope is different from coming to the end of one’s own or “my” tether.  In the former case it may suggest captivity or imposed limits; the latter implies a failure of the speaker’s capacities or resources.

 

 

1. Hobbs, M.A. Underwood. 1999. Pure Doggerel. White Star Farm,. Accessed Oct 21 2001 from http:// meanwhilebackatthefarm. com/ doghouse/ puredoggerel.htm.

2. Lewis. “Re: rope.” In Martin, Gary J., ed. 2001.The Phrase Finder Sheffield Hallam University. Accessed Jan 3 2008 from http:// www.phrases. org.uk/ bulletin_board/ 28/ messages/ 964.html.
line
About the illustration: Figure 1 is a morbid image, to be sure. And certainly, at the moment you face death, in some sense you have exhausted all options, at least in the material world. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.
see also: on a short leash
cf:
unleash
Last updated: July 5, 2008
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies