Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Nellie: Nellie Bly
sit next to Nellie
old-fashioned To work alongside a person with a lot of experience so as to learn how best to do a job by watching them work. It used to be the case that new recruits would just sit next to "Nellie" when they joined the team; now, with how quickly technology is advancing, it's often the new recruits who have to explain how things work to the older members of staff.
Rur. Wait! Stop! Tom: When I get that money, I'm gonna get me my own place, and then you and I can get married, and—Jane: Whoa, Nellie! When did I say I was going to marry you? Whoa, Nellie! Did you measure them boards before you started cuttin' 'em?
An unduly timid or anxious person, as in He's a real nervous Nellie, calling the doctor about every little symptom. This term does not allude to a particular person named Nellie; rather, the name was probably chosen for the sake of alliteration. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
sit next to Nellielearn how to do a job or task by watching and copying someone experienced in it. informal
n. any nervous person, male or female. Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down.