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قديم 06-03-2006, 07:03 AM
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تاريخ التسجيل: May 2006
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افتراضي كلمة اليوم Today's Word

Tenter (Noun)
Pronunciation: ['tent-êr]

Definition 1: No, not someone who lives in a tent, but an open frame with evenly spaced protruding hooks or nails for stretching cloth to dry without shrinking. The edges of the material are fastened to the nails all around the frame after the frame is adjusted to be slightly larger than the piece of cloth.
Usage 1: Non-shrink fabrics made tenters pretty much obsolete years ago but the word persists in the compound "tenterhooks," itself rarely used outside the phrase "to be on tenterhooks" (as opposed to tender hooks, which hold nothing). You may use this noun as a verb: to tenter material is to stretch it out on a frame.

Suggested usage: For those of us who have seen curtains stretched on a tenter, the metaphor could not be more obvious: "If we don't finish this job today, the boss will have us on tenters." To be on tenterhooks, however, implies that you are in a state of heightened anticipation, as to be on tenterhooks to find out a final exam grade. Another way of expressing pretty much the same thing is to say you are on pins and needles. This phrase is probably in the process of replacing "on tenterhooks," as the concept of the tenter fades among ever younger generations.

Etymology: Today's word comes Latin tentorium "shelter made of stretched skins," from tendere "to stretch," also the origin of "tent." The original Proto-Indo-European root was *ten- "to stretch" and it came to English through its proto-Germanic ancestors as "thin," the state animal products reach when stretched. The Latin word, "tendere," also gave us "tender," "extend," and other words originally implying a stretch. "Tetanus" comes from the Greek variant in tetanus "stiff, rigid," another state arrived at by stretching. The same root turns up twice in Sanskrit, both as tasaram "shuttle" and tantram "loom," where shuttles are used. In Persian the [n] was lost to produce tar "string," which underlies Hindi "sitar."
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