bite (one's) nails

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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

bite one's nails

 
1. to use one's teeth to remove parts of one's fingernails as a means of shortening them. Stop biting your nails! Use clippers!
2. to literally bite one's nails from nervousness or anxiety; to be nervous or anxious. I spent all afternoon biting my nails, worrying about you. We've all been biting our nails from worry.
See also: bite, nail

bite one's nails

Exhibit signs of anxiety, impatience, or nervousness, as in We'll be biting our nails till the jury comes back. Biting one's fingernails is a time-honored sign of emotional tension. The Roman satirist Horace described it about 35 b.c.: "As he wrought his verse he would often ... gnaw his nails to the quick" ( Satires, Book 1).
See also: bite, nail

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
References in periodicals archive ?
| Anxious or worrying |excessively (33%) Biting nails more than | usual (28%) Shutting themselves off| from family or friends (21%) Disrupted sleep | patterns (20%) Lashing out or falling out | with friends and family (16%) Eating less than usual | (16%) Showing signs of | depression (16%) Feeling ill | (15%) Experiencing stomach | upsets (13%) Frustrated social media | posts (13%)
The top five are: lose weight, exercise more, cut down on drinking alcohol, quit smoking and stop biting nails. Other popular ones involve money - such as saving more, starting a pension or paying off credit card debts.
The days of lounging around luxury hotels, biting nails and saying prayers have come to an end.
There is a school of thought which states that bruxism may be a learned behaviour used as a mechanism to cope with stress in childhood - a bit like biting nails.
Andreas Loehrer said: "They lick until they wear a patch in their fur, like humans biting nails."
Many of the Wirral pupils and their parents will be biting nails and crossing fingers that they can go on to secure a grammar school education.
LOSE WEIGHT: Paula Saunders STOP BITING NAILS: Kelly Saunders CUTTING BACK: Stuart Wilson BE MORE HEALTHY: Shannon Pearson NIGHTS OUT: Angharad Gibbs BUDGET BETTER: Warren Lea