Posted by Valeriy on January 10, 2007
In Reply to: Nail in somebody's coffin posted by Smokey Stover on January 10, 2007
: : : Can someone tell me the meaning and origin of idiom : nail in somebody's coffin. Thanks.
: : A coffin -- a container for a dead body -- used to be made of wood and was sealed up with nails before burial. Another nail in somebody's coffin refers to an action, etc., that takes a person a step closer to death or some other unpleasant occurence like public disgrace.
: It's not unusual for cigarettes to be referred to as "coffin nails." Sometimes an admonition or expression of disapproval is accompanied by a remark about "another nail in your coffin." Or "in his coffin." It's less rude to insult someone who is not present.
In Russian we say "last nail in somebody's coffin" - that is to finish off.