Nip the evil in the bud

  • Reborn34

    Hi Rover,

    Here is the context:I think you should nip the evil in the bud while there is time because these kids might start behaving even worse.

    Thank you in advance!


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Nipping in the bud is a common expression.
    Very often, the <something> has already been defined and we would nip it in the bud rather than nip <something> in the bud.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The image comes from gardening; nipping -- also known as pinching -- is a way to remove or stop various types of growth on a plant. The literal meaning of "to nip something in the bud" means to remove a bud before it turns into a full-sized branch, or into a fully-blown flower. The figurative use is much more common than the literal use.
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