twist in the wind

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to being hanged by the neck and then left for dead in a suspended state.

Verb[edit]

twist in the wind (third-person singular simple present twists in the wind, present participle twisting in the wind, simple past and past participle twisted in the wind)

  1. (idiomatic) To be unassisted and without comfort in a situation likely to result in distress or failure.
    • 1987, William E. Schmidt, "Iran-Contra Hearings," New York Times, 12 Jul. (retrieved 23 Aug. 2008),
      There seemed to be a shared perception of Colonel North as a good and honorable serviceman who had been left to twist in the wind, the scapegoat of an operation gone awry.
  2. (idiomatic) To wait for an uncomfortably long period of time.
    • 2008, Josh Wingrove, "Toronto facing $2-million cleanup bill," Globe and Mail (Canada), 21 Aug.,
      McGuinty just says, "Don't worry, the investigation will be over soon enough, we'll do something in due course," and people are expected to twist in the wind in the meantime.

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