nails [adjective]

Discussion in 'Dictionary Additions' started by cuchuflete, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing)
    Nails, used as an adjective.

    Your definition or explanation:
    This may be nothing but an abbreviated form of "tough as nails", or it may imply great tenacity. It shows up in a number of baseball reports.

    I've found two other uses of "he was nails" described actors. The sense is that they were extremely effective in their roles.

    Example: (An example of the term in use)

    "Wake was nails," Francona said. "That's kind of neat on a night he sets a record. He pumped a lot of strikes and used his fastball and breaking ball at times, too.

    Wake= Boston Red Sox baseball pitcher Tim Wakefield
    Francona= Red Sox manager/coach Terry Francona
    Wakefield set a record for the most innings ever pitched for his team, 2777.
    He was very effective in the game described.

    One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.) The citation above comes from a game report:

    See also:
    Sports: Dodgers' win is a balk in the park

    Jun 6, 2010 ... "After the first two innings, he was nails," Torre said. "I give him a lot of credit, because he was frustrated but didn't let it affect him ... - Cached

    Spring Training Blog: March 10 - ESPN

    Apr 2, 2010 ... "He was nails," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He had good stuff. His location was outstanding. He was very impressive." ... - Cached

    Buzzards Gotta Eat, Same As Worms

    By the movie's halfway point, I didn't just believe that he was nails, I knew it. Serious props. The movie's got a great build-up, and the plot unravels in ... - Cached - Similar

    Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it? Yes __:tick:__ No ___
  2. FNA Junior Member

    In baseball, a former player, Lenny Dykstra, was nicknamed "Nails" with the connotation of 'hard as'.

    Since hard or pointy is about the best a nail can aspire to, I don't like the usage in the above articles.

    Having good location on pitches, having a curve that is really breaking has nothing to do with being "tough as nails". Tough to hit, but not tough as nails.

    A hard nosed ballplayer who gets on base very often may be a hard as nails guy who is a hard/tough out but he is not a hard as nails out.

    If you change the usage to "tough as nails" it doesn't seem to work to me.

    Tough/hard as nails seems more a personal than a performance descriptor. If one is tough as nails, one is tough as nails. it is not a state of being that is passing. You is or you ain't.

    if the usage is as excellent or domineering or even 'spot on' I ask why "nails"? In the movie review it appears to have s a different meaning, closer to the nick-name.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  3. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    However, I do find it odd to use it as an adjective like mentioned: He was nails.

    I've never heard it either - can anybody confirm that it is common usage? Mainly AE I suppose ...?
  4. Prannock New Member

    Scottish /English
    The expression "(hard as) nails" is like saying "(safe as) houses", just ellipsis where it's perfectly clear what you're getting at. Kinda like the way we start proverbs or sayings without having to finish them. e.g. "You know, every cloud..." or "The other man's grass..." Or even like "Nice day at the office, dear?", where the left-out stuff is quite superfluous to basic communication. Maybe one day we'll all speak like the Indians. Oops! I mean the Native Americans.

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