Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

nervous Nellie

noun, Informal.
a constantly nervous, worried, or timid person.
Origin of nervous Nellie
First recorded in 1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for nervous Nellie

nervous Nellie

noun phrase

A timid or cautious person; a worrier: a nervous Nellie a bit like Jeanne Dixon

[late 1930s+; perhaps fr Nervous Nellie, the nickname of Frank B Kellogg, secretary of state 1925–29, who negotiated the Kellogg-Briand differences]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with nervous Nellie

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. [ ; c. 1920 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for nervous nellie

Word Value for nervous

Scrabble Words With Friends