nurse

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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 ?
Friar Tuck had nursed Little John's wounded knee so skilfully that it was now healed.
She told him how she had nursed her father in his long illness, and when he died, and she was left alone, had taken to nurse others, partly from habit, partly to be of some service in the world; partly, it might be, for amusement.
A rich Englishman," continued the abbe, "who had been his companion in misfortune, but had been released from prison during the second restoration, was possessed of a diamond of immense value; this jewel he bestowed on Dantes upon himself quitting the prison, as a mark of his gratitude for the kindness and brotherly care with which Dantes had nursed him in a severe illness he underwent during his confinement.
14} She it was who now lighted Telemachus to his room, and she loved him better than any of the other women in the house did, for she had nursed him when he was a baby.
Miss Cornelia nursed it as knackily as could any mother in Israel.
It is a fact that even the poor gardener's wife, who had nursed madame's child, was never paid after the first six months for that supply of the milk of human kindness with which she had furnished the lusty and healthy little Rawdon.
21) During 1874 alone the Home housed one hundred women, almost all "utterly homeless and friendless," who wet nursed infants.