to have pins and needles in one’s leg

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Choose the correct definition : a, b or c.

a) to have a splitting headache

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b) to feel very tired

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c) to have a sensation of tingling

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

If someone has pins and needles in their leg, they are feeling a sharp tingling sensation from lack of blood circulation.

Note that to be on pins and needles means to be in a state of nervous excitement.

French translation

avoir des fourmis/ avoir des picotements dans les jambes

How NOT to translate : *avoir des épingles et des aiguilles dans les jambes


Examples in context

‘”Thank you for thinking of me, Damon. We’re friends, aren’t we ?”

His brilliant dark gaze held hers. “We are, Carol.” Momentarily he allowed himself to barely touch her small pretty hand lying on the table. Was it an excuse ? Sensation stunned him, catching him under the ribs. It set off a surge of adrenaline that ran like shivery pins and needles up and down his arm.

“That’s all I need to know.” Carol, too, felt the impact.’

Guardian to the Heiress, Margaret Way


‘When we were airborne, I ¬remember looking around the cabin and the confined environment made me panic even more.

With stabbing pains in my chest and pins and needles in my hands, I knew I was having a panic-attack.
Wanting to get off but knowing I couldn’t was the worst feeling.’

The Daily Mirror, 9 May 2013


Everyday usage

Every time she sat for too long, she had pins and needles in her legs.

Most of the politicians must feel pins and needles while standing all day long for receptions.

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