Nip It in the Bud: the Meaning of the Useful Phrase “Nip It In the Bud”

You may well hear the term ‘nip it in the bud’ regularly during a variety of English conversations, but what does this term mean? We are going to take a look at the meaning of this phrase as well as how it can be used in a conversation. We are also going to look at where the term came from in the first instance.

Nip It In the Bud

Nip It In the Bud Meaning

The term ‘nip it in the bud’ means to put a stop to a situation before it gets any worse or progresses any further.

Origin of this idiom

The idiomatic expression ‘nip it in the bud’ was first seen in a play from the early 1600s. The term is believed to refer to the frost of spring which kills the flower buds that have begun to grow.

“Nip It In the Bud” Examples

Examples in Statements

This is a statement being made by an employer to his team

  • ‘There seems to have been a problem with the system but we have located the error and have been able to nip it in the bud.’

Here is a statement being made in a newspaper report.

  • ‘The crime wave was nipped in the bud by officers before it had chance to really cause some damage.’

Conversation Examples

There are many times you might hear the term ‘nip it in the bud’ during a conversation. Here are some examples to show what you might hear.

The first conversation is between a husband and wife.

  • Person 1: “Have you noticed that our son has started to befriend that naughty child in his class?”
  • Person 2: “Yes and I am not very happy about it.”
  • Person 1: “Perhaps we ought to nip the friendship in the bud before he gets to close to him.”

This conversation is taking place between two friends

  • Person 1: “My dog keeps chewing my carpet.”
  • Person 2: “Has he being doing it for long?”
  • Person 1: “No, he only started doing it this week.”
  • Person 2: “You want to nip that in the bud while you still can.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many other ways you can express the meaning of the term ‘nip it in the bus.’

Here are some examples of other things you can say which carry the same meaning.

  • Stop it in its tracks
  • End it while we can

What Is “Nip It In the Bud”? | Picture

Nip It In the Bud