Wait in the wings?

Posted by Bob on March 22, 2003

In Reply to: Wait in the wings? posted by Zhanghai on March 22, 2003

: what is 'wait in the wings', and its origin? thank you?

The "wings" are the areas just offstage, left and right, in a theatre, where actors who are not onstage get ready to enter and perform. So the phrase means to wait for one's turn to take part, particularly the kind of waiting where a "cue" tells you it's time to enter. It's applied metaphorically to all kinds of patient waiting for an opportunity. "The Turkish army is waiting in the wings while the other armies fight the initial battles."