nurse


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Related to nurse: registered nurse

nurse (one's) drink

To consume one's beverage, especially alcohol, rather slowly, either as a means of conserving it or to avoid getting drunk. I spent too much money and got drunk too often when I would go to bars in college, so I've learned to nurse my drinks when I go out nowadays.
See also: drink, nurse

nurse a serpent in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "nurse a viper in one's bosom.") I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a serpent in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, serpent

nurse a viper in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a viper in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a viper in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, viper

nurse a snake in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a snake in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a snake in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, snake

nurse a grudge (against someone)

Fig. to keep resenting and disliking someone over a period of time. (Usually implies that it has been an unreasonably long time.) Sally is still nursing a grudge against Mary. How long can anyone nurse a grudge?
See also: grudge, nurse

nurse someone back to health

to care for a sick person until good health returns. Sally was glad to help nurse her mother back to health. She nursed her children back to health when they all had the flu.
See also: back, health, nurse

nurse someone (or an animal) along

to aid or encourage the well-being or return to health of someone or an animal. She nursed the old man along for a few years until he died. She nursed along the invalid. The vet nursed the horse along for the rest of the night. He nursed himself along with chicken noodle soup and hot baths until the virus ran its course.
See also: nurse

nurse someone through (something)

to care for a sick person during the worst part of a sickness or recovery. There was no one there to nurse him through the worst part of his illness. It was a horrible ordeal, but John nursed her through.
See also: nurse

nurse something along

Fig. to manage something with care and thrift. (See also nurse someone or an animal along.) The board of directors agreed to nurse the firm along for a while and then sell it. She nursed along the failing business until it was showing a profit.
See also: nurse

nurse a drink

Consume a drink slowly, especially in order to conserve it. For example, He nursed one drink for the whole evening. This idiom alludes to holding a glass very carefully, as one might a child. [c. 1940]
See also: drink, nurse

nurse a grudge

Bear resentment for a long time, as in We don't know why Karl looks so angry; I think he's nursing a grudge against the family. This expression uses nurse in the sense of "foster a feeling," a usage dating from the mid-1700s.
See also: grudge, nurse
References in classic literature ?
The nurse was neither clever nor soft-hearted but she could repeat some of the London doctor's words.
The nurse was married to a nobleman, and the King and Queen gave her splendid presents.
My dear nurse," said Penelope, "however wise you may be you can hardly fathom the counsels of the gods.
I could have killed Strickland then, and I knew that my voice was trembling when I bade the nurse goodbye.
The note, as we have said, had reached Van Baerle's nurse.
So the nurse, following Henry's mercenary example, had her pecuniary interest, too, in the house in which Lord Montbarry had died.
The nurse goes back to the sick-room at five minutes to eleven, or thereabouts, and finds that the bad symptoms of the morning have returned in a gravely aggravated form.
She would be more comfortable here; and the English nurse might keep her company.
Nicholas shook hands, kissed his old pupils all round, intrusted a large parcel of toys to the guardianship of Morleena, bowed to the doctor and the married ladies, and inquired after Mrs Kenwigs in a tone of interest, which went to the very heart and soul of the nurse, who had come in to warm some mysterious compound, in a little saucepan over the fire.
In the hall the two doctors, the nurse, and Miss Polly stood talking.
After the amiable fashion of French mothers, she had placed him out at nurse in a village in the neighbourhood of Paris, where little Rawdon passed the first months of his life, not unhappily, with a numerous family of foster- brothers in wooden shoes.
They gave the baby medicine, and it turned out that the baby was simply hungry: the nurse had no milk, sir.
No nurse fit to wait on her being at hand in the neighbourhood, her ladyship the Countess and myself undertook the duty, relieving each other.
This is too near the first hours of my life for me to relate anything of myself but by hearsay; it is enough to mention, that as I was born in such an unhappy place, I had no parish to have recourse to for my nourishment in my infancy; nor can I give the least account how I was kept alive, other than that, as I have been told, some relation of my mother's took me away for a while as a nurse, but at whose expense, or by whose direction, I know nothing at all of it.
interposed the nurse, hastily depositing in her pocket a green glass bottle, the contents of which she had been tasting in a corner with evident satisfaction.