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 ?
Winona called him King Richard and he called her Nervous Nellie.
The source said: "Richard felt Winona was incredibly neurotic and called her Nervous Nellie when she wasn't around.
I think (critics) were right when someone said the City Attorney's Office is taking a Nervous Nellie approach,'' Wachs said.