Old English wir "metal drawn out into a thread," from Proto-Germanic *wiraz (cf. Old Norse viravirka "filigree work," Swedish vira "to twist," Old High German wiara "fine gold work"), from PIE *wei- "to turn, twist, plait" (cf. Old Irish fiar, Welsh gwyr "bent, crooked;" Latin viere "to bend, twist," viriæ "bracelets," of Celtic origin). Wiretapping is recorded from 1904, from earlier wiretapper (1893). Wirepuller in the political sense is 1848, American English.
Near the finish; at or to the last possible moment: The project is getting down to the wire and things are getting frantic
[1901+ Horse racing; fr the imaginary line marking the end of a horse race; horses were said to pass ''under the wire'']
To be in very close competition until the very end; be NIP AND TUCK: The 1928 pennant race between the As and the Yanks went to the wire (1901+)
To cancel or ignore what has gone before; begin anew; go back to square one: Let's just wipe the slate clean and pretend it never happened (1921+)