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clean up nice(ly)

To appear presentable after grooming oneself. This is a set phrase used to compliment one's appearance. However, because it implies that one was previously dirty or unattractive, it can be received as an insult or backhanded compliment. Did you see Owen in his suit and tie? He sure cleans up nice! All I said was that she cleans up nicely, and she got mad at me!
See also: clean, up

do ˈnicely

1 (usually used in progressive tenses) be making good progress: Her business is doing very nicely.
2 be satisfactory: Tomorrow at ten will do nicely (= will be a good time).
See also: nicely
References in periodicals archive ?
Divorce Nicely can also point divorcing couples to appropriate professionals for legal advice, financial advice, mortgage advice and counselling services if that is what is required, although much of the work couples can do for themselves, thereby keeping costs to a minimum.
He quickened up nicely and one of the reasons we wanted to go to Lingfield was to see how he would be at that trip and it seemed to work out.
In the form of his life and looks nicely treated back over hurdles.
WHO doesn't love a floaty scarf and this one in a gorgeous peachy tone will dress up your working wardrobe nicely.
THE VERDICT A nicely staged British rom-com, which features a brief cameo from Gordon Ramsay.
Stars: Price: pounds 14 Available: Asda Top Iced Christmas Cake Not as nicely decorated as the other cakes but very tasty.
IN APRIL my wife broke her hip and was in the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and was looked after very nicely.
NICELY MACHINERY had been in the industry for more than 25 years and is continuously proving its ability to overcome the strict requests from its customers worldwide for nonwovens and other materials.
However, it had a strong hint of herbs, which went down nicely.
This Imperial Stormtrooper had to get used to a rather more mundane form of human transport, although he blended in nicely with the crowds attending the fourth annual British International Comics Show at Thinktank in Birmingham over the weekend.
I've been a professional now for nine months, 10 months and everything's coming along nicely," said DeGale.
I WOULD like to thank NBB (Muthanna branch) for dealing with me nicely.
Nicely presented, such an array of oysters is a rare find in a Valley restaurant, only equaled by King's Fish House in Calabasas.
The result was rioting and grumbling and a general distain for authority that Bennett nicely connects to sailors' historic recalcitrance.
These plants will all want to be in dappled shade and moist but well-drained ground, so they go nicely at the foot of moisture-tolerant trees like Bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum), Overcup Oak (Quercus lyrata), River Birch (Betula nigra) and Black-gum (Nyssa sylvatica)--these last two echoing the gold and red shades in fall foliage.