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Dead as a door-nail. The door-nail is the plate or knob on which the knocker or hammer strikes. As this nail is knocked on the head several times a day, it cannot be supposed to have much life left in it.

“Come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.”—Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI., iv. 10. (Jack Cade.)

Falstaff. What! is the old king dead?

Pistol. As nail in door.”

Shakespeare: 2 Henry IV., v. 3.

Dead as a herring. (See Herring.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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De Facto
De Haut en Bas
De Jure (Latin)
De Lunatico Inquirendo (Latin)
De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum
De Nihilo Nihil Fit (Latin)
De Novo (Latin)
De Profundis [Out of the depths]
De Rigueur
De Trop (French)
Dead Drunk
Dead-flat (A)
Dead Freight
Dead Hand (A)
Dead Heat
Dead Horse

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Door Nail