on a string

(redirected from have someone on a string)

*on a string

Fig. under control, as one would control a marionette. (*Typically: get someone ~; have someone ~; keep someone ~.) She keeps him on a string so he won't get involved with other women.
See also: on, string

on a string

Under someone's control, as in She'll drop everything whenever Sam asks for something-he's got her on a string. This expression, alluding to pulling an animal on a leash, dates from the late 1500s, when it was put as in a string.
See also: on, string
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