tenpenny nail

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


tenpenny nail (plural tenpenny nails)

  1. (dated) A relatively large nail, three inches (7.62 centimeters) in length.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, chapter 67, in The Old Curiosity Shop:
      The face, horribly seared by the frequent application of the red-hot poker, and further ornamented by the insertion, in the tip of the nose, of a tenpenny nail, yet smiled blandly in its less lacerated parts.
    • 1909, Joseph A. Altsheler, chapter 3, in The Last of the Chiefs:
      "Al, I could bite a tenpenny nail in half and digest both pieces, too."
    • 2001 Aug. 26, Fred Chappell, "He was a man, not a super-rube" (review of Ava's Man by Rick Bragg), Chicago Sun-Times, p. 16C:
      He could still climb a scaffold like a monkey, still drive a ten-penny nail with one measured, massive, dead-on blow.

See also[edit]