nervous Nellie


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nervous Nellie

An unduly timid or anxious person, as in He's a real nervous Nellie, calling the doctor about every little symptom. This term does not allude to a particular person named Nellie; rather, the name was probably chosen for the sake of alliteration. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
See also: Nellie, nervous

nervous Nellie

n. any nervous person, male or female. Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down.
See also: Nellie, nervous
References in periodicals archive ?
He was no Nervous Nellie out there, that's for sure.
Suppressing your nervous Nellie side is the emotional equivalent of kissing strangers.
Winona called him King Richard and he called her Nervous Nellie.
It is a soothing, repetitious sight, like watching the sea, though it was a hot and gloomy place to work and the museum has been driven to all sorts of laborious precautions by today's Nervous Nellie safety regulations.
Proclaiming the age of Internet as something not to be feared, but as an "exciting time," Sulzberger told his nervous nellie editors: "Where should newspapers publishers be putting their money?