nervous Nellie

play
noun, often capitalized 1st N nervous Nel·lie \-ˈne-lē\
variants: or

nervous Nelly

Definition of nervous Nellie

plural

nervous Nellies

  1. :  a timid or worrisome person

Examples of nervous nellie in a sentence

  1. My sister is a real nervous Nellie when it comes to flying.

  2. <many new parents are nervous Nellies when it comes to the health of their babies>

Origin and Etymology of nervous nellie

from the name Nellie


First Known Use: 1926


NERVOUS NELLIE Defined for English Language Learners

nervous Nellie

play
noun, often capitalized 1st N nervous Nel·lie \-ˈne-lē\

Definition of nervous Nellie for English Language Learners

  • : a very fearful or nervous person



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nervous Nellie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a side road used to avoid a toll

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • snowflake-closeup
  • Which is a synonym of imprecate?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ