VIDEO FOR HANGNAIL
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Words nearby hangnail
What is a hangnail?
A hangnail is a small piece of skin that’s hanging off near the side or base of the fingernail.
Despite the name, a hangnail isn’t part of the fingernail itself. When someone says they’ve broken a nail, they mean that part of their fingernail has broken off. A hangnail, though, is a piece of skin that has become detached from the cuticle or skin around the nail.
Hangnails are known for hurting more than you’d expect them to, based on their size. For that reason, the word is sometimes used in negative comparisons to indicate that something is unpleasant, irritating, or painful, but not very serious, as in This job is about as much fun as a hangnail, but it shouldn’t take too long.
The word is also sometimes used as an example of the most minor kind of injury, as in He would call out sick if he got a hangnail, so there’s no way he’s coming in if he has the flu.
Example: Don’t pick at your hangnail—it will be red and sore if you peel it off!
Where does hangnail come from?
The first records of the word hangnail come from around the 1300s. It comes from the Old English word angnægl. The second part of the word, nægl, means “nail.” However, the first part, ang, comes from a word meaning “painful” (the words anger and angst derive from the same root). A much less common synonym for hangnail that’s based on the same root is agnail. Still, the spelling of the beginning of hangnail was influenced by the word hang, since hangnails hang off the skin. (So, etymologically, a hangnail is actually a painnail, and isn’t that the truth.)
Hangnails can be caused by dry skin, excessive handwashing, picking your nails, or a protein deficiency. They’re usually not serious, but they can start to sting a bit when they’re irritated (which can cause some angst).
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How is hangnail used in real life?
Hangnails are common and most people find them pretty annoying. The word is probably most commonly used in complaints about them.
Call me a wimp but I have the worst hangnail ever and it's really harshing my mellow 😔
— Brittoeknee (@brittanyaline) April 23, 2016
At this point, I assume a "minor injury" announced by Porter is anything from a hangnail to a player being three days dead. #Crew96
— Darby Schnarfus (@tokenliberal) September 12, 2020
Online homework is the hangnail of school
— Chris Dobmeier (@ChrisDobmeier) April 12, 2015
Try using hangnail!
True or False?
A hangnail is what happens when you break a nail.
Example sentences from the Web for hangnail
But it did matter to me that I had to dine on this hangnail pared from a sheep.Eating in Two or Three Languages|Irvin S. Cobb