Can I say “ nail the case" ?

mt1183

New Member
Chinese
Hi all,

I know there is a phrase " put the last nail in the coffin" meaning to solidify existing status. I wonder if i could use "nail the case" to describe that something significantly contributes to certain result?

Thank you for the help!
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To nail something or someone already has other slang meanings I don't think your suggestion works.

    You could say "nail down the case" but that also has a slightly different meaning.

    Please give us a complete sentence for context.

    __________________________________________________________________
    nail vb (transitive)
    • to attach with or as if with nails
    • informal to arrest or seize
    • informal to hit or bring down, as with a shot
    • informal to expose or detect (a lie or liar)
    • to fix or focus (one's eyes, attention, etc) on an object
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/nail
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    How about "You nailed me."?
    That meaning would probably be sexual. "to nail" has a number of different slang meanings. Context is needed to know which is meant.

    What situation are you envisaging? Two lovers? A policeman and a criminal?
     

    Euphoria.

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    That meaning would probably be sexual. "to nail" has a number of different slang meanings. Context is needed to know which is meant.

    What situation are you envisaging? Two lovers? A policeman and a criminal?
    I go to a concert and then I have a chance to meet the singer. Can I say "You nailed me!" in that situation to indicate that I loved his/her performance?
     

    SuK

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I go to a concert and then I have a chance to meet the singer. Can I say "You nailed me!" in that situation to indicate that I loved his/her performance?
    This would probably be met with confusion or possibly laughter because of the sexual connotation.

    However, there is another slang usage of "nail" which means "to succeed at to a perfect/an almost perfect level." So you could tell the singer, "You nailed it!" to say that they were very successful and performed a great concert.

    Another example, would be a sports commentator is watching a gymnastics event and the gymnast lands her landing perfectly. The commentator might say, "She nailed her landing."
     

    mt1183

    New Member
    Chinese
    yes, it is a sentence similar to the one below:

    Over years, buyers showed a developing preference of the plain but rugged kitchenware over the flashy heavy ones. The recent fiscal scandal of XXX company (the one that typically makes the latter type of tools) helped to nail down the case.


    is the expression above correct ?
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would imagine a policeman "nailing down a case" by finding evidence that would convict a criminal. The criminal case would be tried by a court.
    doctor might perhaps nail down a medical case by identifying the symptoms and the correct treatment.

    You mentioned coffins. I think you may be thinking of 'case' meaning a packing-case. Unfortunately that is not how an English speaker would understand the metaphor.

    Your meaning:
    case2 /keɪs/ n., v., cased, cas•ing.
    n. [countable]
    1. a container for enclosing something, such as for carrying or safekeeping:She put the jewels back in their case.
    2. an outer covering: a knife case.
    3. a box with its contents: a case of soda.
    4. the amount contained in a box or other container:drank a case of beer.
    5. the particular form of a written letter, either capital (uppercase) or small (lowercase).
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/case

    A native speaker's meaning:
    case1 /keɪs/ n. [countable]
    1. one instance or an example of the occurrence of something: a case of poor judgment.
    2. [usually: be + the + ~] the actual state of things: If that's the case, you'd better get here sooner.
    3. situation;
      circumstance: a hopeless case.
    4. a patient or client, as of a physician or social worker.
    5. an instance of disease, injury, etc., requiring attention:a very bad case of arthritis.
    6. a specific occurrence requiring discussion or investigation:We now come to the case of the professor turned down for reappointment.
    7. a statement of facts, reasons, etc., used to support an argument: We presented a strong case against the proposed law.
      • a suit or action before a judge:The murder case came before the new judge.
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/case
    Did I guess right?

    I am sorry to say that the word 'case' does not relate to selling kitchenware.
     
    Last edited:

    mt1183

    New Member
    Chinese
    thank you for the detailed analysis. I guess i didn't put myself right by the example text. I wanted to mean ,that by "nail the case" , something occures and further confirms or solidifies, for example, a certain tendency or trend. I wanted to use "case" as the third meaning in your list of native speaker's meanings. But maybe 'nail' is not the best verb to go with....
     
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