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 ?
To be Mary-Annish is to behave like a girl, whimpering because nurse won't carry you, or simpering with your thumb in your mouth, and it is a hateful quality, but to be mad- dog is to kick out at everything, and there is some satisfaction in that.
She's very restless," answered the nurse in a whisper.
You needn't mind sending up to me, if the child cries, nurse,' said the surgeon, putting on his gloves with great deliberation.
They nurse pussy upside down, and they show their affection for the dog by pulling his tail.
With a faint smile of pity, the nurse went back into the room.
The nurse was a kind-hearted woman, who could not live without something to love.
Well, nurse,' he said, 'you have had a windfall of luck.
But the Nurse," said the Candidate - "the Nurse will surely relate the touching incident wherever she goes, and perhaps write to her former master.
And what does the nurse (Christina Ormsay) tell us?
The persons are, Captain Arnault, of the French army; Surgeon Surville, of the French ambulance; Surgeon Wetzel, of the German army; Mercy Merrick, attached as nurse to the French ambulance; and Grace Roseberry, a traveling lady on her way to England.
Anyway, nurse says his eyes will be hazel and his forehead is exactly like Gilbert's.
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.
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.