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Nicodemused into Nothing

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that is, the prospects of one’s life ruined by a silly name; according to the proverb, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.” It is from Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (vol. i. 19), on the evil influence of a silly name on the mind of the bearer of it.

“How many Cæsars and Pompeys . . by mere inspiration of the names have been rendered worthy of them; and how many … might have done … well in the world … had they not been Nicodemused into nothing.”


(This is, to call a man Nicodemus would be enough to sink a navy.)

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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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Nicholas (St.)
Nick
Nicka-Nan Night
Nickar or Hnickar
Nickel Silver
Nicker
Nickleby (Mrs.)
Nickname
Nicknames
Nickneven
Nicodemused into Nothing
Nicolaitans
Nicolas
Nicor (A)
Nicotine
Nidhögg
Niece
Nifiheim
Night
Nightcap (A)
Nightingale