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Related to nervous: nervous breakdown, nervous system

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

nervous wreck

An individual suffering from extreme agitation or worry, as in Pat was a nervous wreck until her mother arrived at the wedding. This expression is nearly always used hyperbolically. [Colloquial; c. 1900] Also see basket case.
See also: nervous, wreck

be frightened/nervous/scared of your own ˈshadow

be very easily frightened; be very nervous: Since the attack he’s been a changed man. He’s nervous of his own shadow and doesn’t like to go out alone at night.

nervous Nellie

n. any nervous person, male or female. Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down.
See also: Nellie, nervous
References in classic literature ?
At first he meant to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to give way to such fancies.
After I had graduated I continued to devote myself to research, occupying a minor position in King's College Hospital, and I was fortunate enough to excite considerable interest by my research into the pathology of catalepsy, and finally to win the Bruce Pinkerton prize and medal by the monograph on nervous lesions to which your friend has just alluded.
That's all," he said presently, with a nervous laugh.
Listen to me, Aglaya," said the prince, "I do believe you are nervous lest I shall make a fool of myself tomorrow at your party?
Every muscle of his thin face was now quivering with nervous excitement; his eyes, in which the fire of life had seemed extinguished, now flashed with brilliant light.
She was so silent, for such a long time, that in my foolish, nervous state I dreaded something, I don't quite know what.
The veteran troopers of the black emperor were nervous and ill at ease.
Ever in his ears was sounding her sharp and nervous snarl.
And is it quite incomprehensible that her nervous system should suffer accordingly, at a very critical period of her life?
I had found my way to the free public library, and was reading myself into nervous prostration.
He was very nervous as he sat on the platform, and I could see the high tension he was under.
It was the first appearance of most of us on any platform, and some of us were very nervous.
Just then a bell above the throne rang briskly, and the King gave another nervous jump.
A nervous contraction at one corner of her mouth drew up the lips out of the symmetrically right line, when, they moved.