bite your nails/fingernails

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bite (one's) nails

1. Literally, to chew on one's fingernails and shorten them. I wish I didn't bite my nails, but it's been such a hard habit to try to break. My sister gets regular manicures to keep from biting her nails.
2. To nervously await something. I've been biting my nails ever since I submitted my application for my first-choice college.
See also: bite, nail
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bite your ˈnails/ˈfingernails

feel very excited, nervous, or afraid ▶ ˈnail-biting adj. very exciting or tense: What an exciting movie that was — real nail-biting stuff!
See also: bite, fingernail, nail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: New Delhi (India), May 21 (ANI): The makers of Anupam Kher starrer mystery thriller 'One Day' dropped an intriguing and tantalising trailer on Tuesday which will make you bite your nails.
That's not even discussing the possibility of triggering gingivitis or painful gum inflammation, which you can get if you continue to bite your nails. Nail biting can cause infections - When you bite your nails, you could accidentally tear off a big piece that exposes the skin underneath.
By figuring out what causes you to bite your nails, you can figure out how to avoid these situations and develop a plan to stop.
If you bite your nails and develop a skin or nail infection, consult a board-certified dermatologist."
MANNERS Don't pick your nose and don't bite your nails, stop poking your ears and don't yawn like a whale.
I have a theory, for instance, that far from being a work of art, the Venus de Milo is there as a warning of what happens if you continue to bite your nails.
You pull out your hair and bite your nails, it helps to have skin as thick as a rhino's hide.
* If stress causes you to bite your nails, find a different way to relax, such as going for a run or bike ride, walking with a friend, or playing the piano.
If stress makes you bite your nails, go for a swim, run, bike ride, or walk with a friend.
It is useful to explain why you don't like nail biting and suggest positive ideas such as 'let's see if you can grow your nails long' rather than 'don't bite your nails'.
Get ready to bite your nails to the quick as the killer is unmasked.
The nasty taste will remind you to stop every time you start to bite your nails.
If you can identify a situation in which you tend to bite your nails, you'll be prepared for next time.
Researcher Roland Ennos, of Manchester University, said: "I noticed whenever you bite your nails they never break into the quick of your skin.