be on pins and needles

be on pins and needles

To be anxious and tense. The phrase likely derived from the tingling sensation (called "pins and needles") that occurs when blood flow returns to a numb limb. A: "Why is Carrie pacing?" B: "She's waiting for the doctor to call with her test results, so she's been on pins and needles all day."
See also: and, needle, on, pin
References in classic literature ?
She went with her mother, who, of course, when she heard of a stranger being in the neighbourhood, would be on pins and needles till she had seen her and got all she could out of her.