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 ?
In the 1970's when the late Bishop Carroll Dozier invited Catholics in his Memphis diocese to a public Penance service, approximately 15,000 assembled in a local stadium to pray and (to the horror of nervous Nellies in high places) receive general absolution.
5 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study suggests that what you do for a living could be an indicator of the degree of anxiety and emotional response to a potential disability, from Nervous Nellies in advertising to Cool Cucumbers in accounting and engineering.
Tagged as Nervous Nellies, 66 percent of this group report they would feel a lack of financial security, while 26 percent indicated they would be unprepared emotionally if they suffered a disability and 41 percent would be worried that they would never be able to work again.
When Nervous Nellies fret that current stock price levels are extraordinary by all historic measures, and hence ripe for correction, the bulls point to the growing importance of intellectual property and information.
and Matthew Greenwald & Associates identified four "retirement savings profiles" based on levels of confidence and preparedness among non-retired boomers: smooth sailors (21% of respondents); nervous nellies (27% of respondents); hopeful idealists (29% of respondents) and pensive procrastinators (23% of respondents).
Nervous Nellies (Prepared and Concerned) 27% of non-retirees This group of non-retirees has taken many steps to achieve a secure retirement and believe they are prepared, but are worried that events beyond their control might compromise their ability to attain financial security.
We may have some nervous nellies out there until they get punched in the mouth and remember it's a game.