nail polish on a hangnail

(redirected from hangnail)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to hangnail: Ingrown fingernail

nail polish on a hangnail

Some superficial or cosmetic change to something so that it seems more attractive, appealing, or successful than it really is. The only thing the new manager has come up with to save the restaurant has been to make a few repairs and slap a fresh coat on the restaurant, but putting a bit of nail polish on a hangnail doesn't fix the hangnail. The new bells and whistles of their latest operating system is just nail polish on a hangnail, if you ask me. It's still just as buggy and unintuitive as the last one they released.
See also: nail, on, polish
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

nail polish on a hangnail

Ugly or useless despite an attractive appearance. This phrase, which is most often heard in “You can put nail polish on a hangnail, but it's still a hangnail,” can be used in all sorts of situations . . . and for all sorts of people.
See also: nail, on, polish
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
No matter how much you love your husband, or how much your sister's hangnail is annoying her, it's not worth using your tools to help.
I couldn't say because I'm concentrating on a hangnail I've just found.I like swimming but not to that high a level.
"You're the Hangnail in My Life (and I Can't Bite You Off)"
Who would also adore me." She's let go of his hand now and is biting her own, tearing at a hangnail with her teeth.
Once we have taken the position of many stem-cell advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down.
Although I was skeptical that a couple of tiny threads of fabric stuck on a hangnail of the victim's hand would really warrant such a suspicion; but maybe that's just me.
I've photographed injured grizzlies, a moose drunk on fermented springtime willow-mulch, and a bad-tempered badger with a festered hangnail, and never had such resistance!
Don't take the term "self-funding" too literally; it doesn't mean that you as an employer manage the claim for everything from a hangnail to heart surgery.
I sat with my arms crossed like a pouting child, tucked my hands inside my jacket sleeves, and discreetly picked at a hangnail on my right thumb.
The question was like a hangnail. Or did it have a mind?
* Commenting on the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, Bernauer, in stating his company's position against the practice, nonetheless categorized the issue as "more hangnail than heart attack." The implication: Amid all the hoopla the issue is a small one indeed when measured against the backdrop of pharmacy in America.
It doesn't take more than a hangnail or a sprained ankle to get one.
Sometimes, firing unprofitable customers is as effective as amputating a finger to heal a hangnail. One business value of CRM is delivered when we use technology to retain customers, and to streamline and align our internal operations to make them more profitable, rather than to decide which ones to get rid of.
As The New England Journal of Medicine succinctly argued in an editorial published just weeks before the decision, "A treatment for any other condition, from hangnail to headache to heart disease, with a similar record of safety and efficacy would be approved quickly."