hard as nails

(as) hard as nails

Physically or mentally tough. I'm scared of those bikers—they all look like they're hard as nails! Our aunt is as hard as nails, so we asked her to give the eulogy, knowing that she's the only one who could do it without crying. The old farmhand is hard as nails, but he's got a heart of gold underneath the tough exterior.
See also: hard, nail


Describing someone who is physically or mentally tough. Aren't you scared of those hard-as-nails bikers? We asked our hard-as-nails aunt to give the eulogy, knowing that she's the only one who could do it without crying.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*hard as nails

Cliché [of someone] stern and unyielding. (*Also: as ∼.) Don't try to bargain with Liz. She's as hard as nails. Bob may seem sweet and easily swayed, but in fact he's hard as nails.
See also: hard, nail
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hard as nails

Unyielding, callous, unsympathetic, as in Don't ask her for a contribution-she's hard as nails. This expression has replaced the 14th-century simile hard as flint stone and presumably alludes to the rigidity of nails.
See also: hard, nail
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hard as nails

If someone is as hard as nails, they are very unsympathetic towards other people and do not show their emotions. He's a shrewd businessman and hard as nails. When necessary she could be as hard as nails. Note: You can use hard-as-nails before a noun. That was his hard-as-nails trade representative, Carla Hills.
See also: hard, nail
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hard as nails

1 very hard. 2 (of people) insensitive or callous; without pity.
See also: hard, nail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(as) hard as ˈnails

(of a person) not sensitive or sympathetic: She doesn’t care what happens to anybody. She’s as hard as nails.
See also: hard, nail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hard as nails

Unyielding, tough, usually describing a person. This simile, which replaced the earlier hard as flint or stone (dating from Chaucer’s time), seems to allude to a nail’s ability to withstand the blows of a hammer. Shaw used it in at least three of his plays (You Never Can Tell, Heartbreak House, Man and Superman) to describe an unsentimental character.
See also: hard, nail
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
A LONDON chap buys a Yorkshire parrot but gets fed up of it saying: "I'm from Yorkshire and I'm as hard as nails." So he puts a kestrel in the cage.
Del's Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps is a one-step acrylic gel and nylon formula that makes nails as hard as if they were done with a professional nail wrap.
For extra strength, you can't beat a coat of Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, pounds 3.25.
Two holiday gift sets will also be available: Instant Nail Party is a 13-piece kit that contains seven shades of Advanced Hard as Nails nail color as well as implements to make possible a salon manicure or pedicure in the home.
The company is also strengthening its brand identity by playing on the first Sally Hansen product, Hard as Nails, to continue to promote healthy nails.
(-1.7%) Dollar Dollar Market sales sales LEADING BRANDS ** share (000) % change Revlon 8.6% $13,178 -3.1% Sally Hansen Diamond Strength 6.9% 10,575 +84.9% Sally Hansen Hard as Nails 5.1% 7,753 -16.5% Milani 5.0% 7,730 +14.4% Sally Hansen Maximum Growth 4.2% 6,470 -2.6% Sally Hansen Adv.
The best-seller in the nail polish/nail treatment category is Del Laboratories Inc.'s Sally Hansen brand franchise, paced by Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, which accounts for 7.4% of category volume.
(-1.9%) Dollar Market sales Leading brands ** Manufacturer share (000) Revlon Revlon 8.7% $13,262 Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Del Laboratories 6.1% 9,257 Milani Jordana Cosmetics 4.4% 6,716 Sally Hansen Advanced Hard Del Laboratories 4.4% 6,700 as Nails Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Del Laboratories 4.3% 6,480 Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Del Laboratories 4.3% 6,459 Express Finish Maybelline 3.9% 5,881 Jet Set Shine L'Oreal 3.4% 5,216 Steel Colour L'Oreal 3.2% 4,812 N.Y.C.
Del Laboratories Inc.'s Sally Hansen Hard as Nails brand remains the category leader, with a 9.5% dollar share.
The Petite Salon Collection, promising a $20 value for $4.99, includes three shades of Sally Hansen Hard As Nails with nylon base and top coat, nail treatment, a sapphire file with a pearly pink handle, nail clip, six party invitations, instruction sheet and party ideas page.
Under its Sally Hansen Hard As Nails line the company has introduced a collection of six shades of pink for spring and a collection of Sally reds, whites and blues that it calls the America The Beautiful collection.
Revlon Inc.'s Revlon brand is the best-selling line with a 9.1% market share, followed by Maybelline/Laboratoires Garnier's Express Finish line with 7.9% and Del Laboratories Inc.'s Sally Hansen Hard as Nails with 7.1%.
For its part Sally Hansen has kept pace with the latest fashions with the launch of the Teflon Tuff "Pillow Talk" and "Prima, Prima Ballerina" Hard as Nails with Nylon, according to McMenemy.
in February pitched Sally Hansen Hard as Nails assorted colors from Del Laboratories Inc.
The Sally Hansen Hard as Nails and Hard as Nails with Nylon offerings will be backed with similar marketing support.