Nebraska to Nemean Lion

Nebraska U.S. A word of Indian origin, meaning the “shallow river.”

Nebuchadnezzar A correspondent of Notes and Queries (July 21, 1877) says that the compound Russian word Ne-boch-ad-ne-tzar means, “There is no god but the czar.” Of course this is not the meaning of the Babylonian proper name, but the coincidence is curious. The -ezzar of Nebuchadnezzar means Assyria, and appears in such words as Nabon-assar, Bel-ch-azzar, Nebo-pol-assar, Tiglath-Pil-eser, Esar-haden, and so on.
   Nabonassar is Nebo-adan-Assur (Nebo prince of Assyria); Nebuchadnezzar is Nebo-chah-adun-Assar (Nebo, royal prince-of Assyria). Nebo was probably an Assyrian god, but it was no unusual thing for kings to assume the names of gods, as Bel-ch-azzar, where Bel = Baal (Baal king- of Assyria.) (See Nabo.)

Nebuchadnezzar The prophet Daniel says that Nebuchadnezzar walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon and said, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built ... by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” And “the same hour ... he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws” (iv. 29-33).

Necessity Make a virtue of necessity. (Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, iv. 1.)

“Quintilian has laudem virtutis necessitati damus: St. Jerome (epistle 54 section 6), Fac de necessitate virtutem. In the Roman de la Rose, line 14058, we find S'il ne fait de necessite virtu, and Boccaccio has Si come savia fatta della necessita.
   Necessity the tyrant's plea. (Milton: Paradise Lost, book iv. verse 393.)

NeckOh that the Roman people had but one neck, that I might cut it off at a blow! ” The words of Caligula, the Roman emperor.
   To break the neck of an enterprise. To begin it successfully, and overcome the first difficulties. Well begun is half done. The allusion is to killing fowls by breaking their necks.

Neck-verse (Psalm li. 1). “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” This verse was so called because it was the trial-verse of those who claimed benefit of clergy; and if they could read it, the ordinary of Newgate said, “Legit ut clericus, ” and the convict saved his neck, being only burnt in the hand and set at liberty.

“If a clerk had been taken
For stealing of bacon.
For burglary, murder, or rape.
If he could but rehearse
(Well prompt) his neck-verse,
He never could fail to escape.”
British Apollo (1710).
Neck-weed A slang term for hemp, of which the hangman's rope is made.

Neck and Crop Entirely. The crop is the gorge of a bird.

Neck and Heels I bundled him out neck and heels. There was a certain punishment formerly in vogue which consisted in bringing the chin and knees of the culprit forcibly together, and then thrusting the victim into a cage.

Neck and Neck Very near together in merit; very close competitors. A phrase used in horse races, when two or more horses run each other very closely.

Neck or Nothing Desperate. A racing phrase; to win by a neck or to be nowhere- i.e. not counted at all because unworthy of notice.

Necked A stiff-necked people. Obstinate and self-willed. In the Psalms we read, “Speak not with a stiff neck” (lxxv. 5); and in Jeremiah xvii. 23, “They obeyed not, but made their necks stiff;” and Isaiah (xlviii. 4) says, “Thy neck is an iron sinew.” The allusion is to a wilful horse, ox, or ass, which will not answer to the reins.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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