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Where did the phrase 'high strung' originate?

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Answer

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Wiki User
03/13/2009

Spontaneous emergence of grammar.

Answer Firstly, it's "highly strung", or sometimes "high-strung". There are at least two possible origins for the phrase, one from stringed musical instruments and the other from archery, the latter from a bow which has been over-strung, that is with a too-short string. The implication with both possibilities is that an implement with a string too tight is on the verge of some sort of breakdown, just as with a person who it's suggested is "highly strung" is nervy and jumpy and not completely in control.