be at loose ends(redirected from one was at loose ends)
be at loose ends
To be anxious or uneasy, especially due to some problem or unresolved issue. I've been at loose ends since that fight with my mother. I hope he finds a job soon—he's been at loose ends ever since getting laid off.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
loose ends, to be at
In an unsettled situation; unfinished; unemployed. This term refers to a rope or tether that has become unfastened, leaving one or both ends dangling. It appeared in print as long ago as 1546, when John Heywood’s proverb collection stated, “Some loose or od ende in life.” Similarly, to tie up loose ends means to settle various unsettled details.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer