Idioms – N

A nail in the coffin

An expression used to refer to an action or event likely to cause something to come to an end or fail.

Call someone names

To call someone names is to insult them verbally.

  • You stopped short of calling me names.

In someone’s name

If something is in someone’s name, it is registered as belonging to them.

Narrow something down

To narrow something down is to reduce the number of possibilities of something.

Get on someone’s nerves

To get on someone’s nerves is to irritate them.

Nip something in the bud

To nip something in the bud is to stop it at an early stage.

  • Bad habits should be nipped in the bud.

Give someone the nod

To give someone the nod is to approve them. To give something the nod is to approve it.

Cut off your nose to spite your face

To cut off your nose to spite your face is to do something which is likely to harm someone else but which also harms yourself.

Put someone’s nose out of joint

To put someone’s nose out of joint is to offend them.

Turn your nose up at

To turn your nose up at something is to show contempt for it.

Notch something up

To notch something up is to achieve something.

Now and again

From time and time

You need to revise your lessons now and again.

To the nth degree

To an extreme degree

Null and void

If a contract is null and void, it is illegal.

Someone’s days are numbered

If someone’s days are numbered, they will not survive for much longer.

  • His health isn’t showing any signs of improvement. His days are numbered. 

Someone’s number is up

When someone’s number is up, they are finished or about to die.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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