nelly


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not on your nelly

An expression of one's refusal to do something. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. A: "Will you go out to the barn and clean up after the horses?" B: "Not on your nelly!"
See also: nelly, not, on

nervous Nellie

Someone who is more timid, nervous, or anxious than is normal or reasonable. My mother's always a bit of a nervous Nellie around the grandkids, so she doesn't like to look after them. I'm too much of a nervous Nellie to ever do something like sky diving.
See also: Nellie, nervous

Whoa, Nelly!

An exclamation of surprise. The phrase is generally thought to have originated as a command to slow down a horse (wherein "Nelly" is the horse's name). They're engaged already? Whoa, Nelly! Whoa, Nelly—what is going on in here?

nervous Nellie

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]
See also: Nellie, nervous

not on your nelly

BRITISH, INFORMAL, OLD-FASHIONED
You can say not on your nelly to mean that there is no chance at all of something happening. Note: `Nelly' is sometimes spelled `nellie'. Will I be attending the ceremony? Not on your nelly! Note: This expression may come from cockney rhyming slang. `Not on your Nellie Duff' stands for `not on your puff', which also means `definitely not'.
See also: nelly, not, on

not on your nelly

certainly not.
This expression, modelled on the phrase not on your life , originated as not on your Nelly Duff , which is British rhyming slang for ‘puff’, meaning ‘breath of life’.
See also: nelly, not, on

not on your ˈnelly

(old-fashioned, British English, informal) definitely not: You want to borrow my new car? Not on your nelly! Nelly was short for Nelly Duff, which was rhyming slang for puff, an informal word for your life.
See also: nelly, not, on

nervous Nellie

n. any nervous person, male or female. Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down.
See also: Nellie, nervous

nervous Nellie

A person who worries unduly or is foolishly fearful. The term apparently originated in the late 1920s and referred to Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, who served from 1925 to 1929. It soon was picked up and used for any individual, male or female, who showed such qualities. Richard Dyer used it in a review of Acis and Galatea, writing: “The direction presented him [Acis] as a kind of nervous Nellie, unable to decide which shirt to wear to impress Galatea” (Boston Globe, Nov. 23, 2004). See also worry wart.
See also: Nellie, nervous
References in classic literature ?
" 'It 's as provoking as Aunt Betsey herself,' said Nelly, as we sat down, out of breath.
" 'If wishing would do any good, I should wish 'em in my lap at once,' added Nelly.
You proposed getting the plums, now let 's see you do it,' answered Nelly, rather crossly, for she had bitten the green plum, and it puckered her mouth.
Nelly looked up, and stared, and laughed, and clapped her hands when she saw what I was going to do.
"Hurrah!" cried Nelly, dancing down below, as my first shake sent a dozen plums rattling round her.
Nelly thought I was killed, and began to cry with her mouth full.
Nelly got stung by a wasp, my head began to ache, and we sat looking at one another rather dismally, when Nelly had a bright idea.
"'There 's too much juice,' said Nelly, shaking her head wisely.
"So Nelly got a bowl, and I got a towel and lifted the big saucepan carefully off.
Nelly, seeing me lie white and weak, thought I was dying, and went over to the neighbor's for Aunt Betsey, and burst in upon the old ladies sitting primly at, their tea, crying, distractedly, " 'Oh, Aunt Betsey, come quick!
"We had plums enough that autumn, but did n't seem to care much about them, after all, for our prank became a household joke, and, for years, we never saw the fruit, but Nelly would look at me with a funny face, and whisper, 'Purple stockings, Fan!' "
why not?" repeated the naturalist; "Nelly has a taste, and often listens with pleasure to the treasures that I am sometimes compelled to scatter in this desert.
So now Eminem, who has gone out of his way to give homosexuals their props, wins the Oscar, and there is a big straight hip-hopper named Nelly. What next?
At this point the battle with Nelly in my mind is over and I think in his too.