(Ang.-Sax, ende, verb endian.)
At my wits' end.
At a standstill how to proceed farther; at a non-plus. He is no
end of a fellow. A capital chap; a most agreeable companion; an A 1
[A one] (q.v.). He is an “all round” man, and therefore has no
To be [one's] end.
The cause or agent of [his] death.
“This apoplexie will be his end.”
Shakespeare: 2 Henry IV.,
To begin at the wrong end.
To attempt to do something unmethodically. This is often done in
education, where children are taught grammar before they are taught
words. No one on earth would teach his child to talk in such a manner.
First talk anyhow, and when words are familiar, teach the grammar of
sentences. The allusion may be to thread wound on a card or bobbin; if
anyone attempts to unwind it at the wrong end, he will entangle the
thread and be unable to unwind it.
To come to the end of one's tether.
To do all that one has ability or liberty to do. The allusion is to
an animal tied to a rope; he can graze only so far as his tether can be
To have it at my finger's end.
To be perfectly au fait; to remember perfectly, and with
ease; tanquam unguis scire. The allusion is to work done with
the fingers (such as knitting), which needs no thought after it has
To have it on
[or at ] the tip of my tongue. (See Tip Of My
Tongue.) A rope's end. A short length of rope bound at the end
with thread, and used for punishing the refractory. A shoemaker's
end. A length of thread pointed with a bristle, and used by
My latter end.
At the close of life. “At the latter end,” towards the close.
“At the latter end of a dinner.”
Shakespeare: All's Well, etc.,
To put an end to.
To terminate or cause to terminate. West end, East end, etc.
The quarter or part of a town east or west of the central or middle
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894