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nice nelly

or nice Nelly

[ nel-ee ]
/ ˈnɛl i /
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noun

a person who professes or exhibits excessive modesty, prudishness, or the like: too much of a nice nelly to have any fun.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Definition for nice nelly (2 of 2)

nice-nelly

or nice-Nel·ly

[ nahys-nel-ee ]
/ ˈnaɪsˈnɛl i /

adjective

characterized by prudishness or excessive modesty: The entrance of his nice-nelly friend stopped the flow of risqué stories.
being a euphemism; euphemistic: nice-nelly expressions.

Origin of nice-nelly

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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