Hard as Nails
Stern, hard-hearted, unsympathetic; able to stand hard blows
like nails. Religious bigotry, straitlacedness, rigid puritanical
pharisaism, make men and women “hard as nails.”
“I know I'm as hard as nails already; I don't want to get more so.”
—Edna Lyall: Donovan. chap. xxiii.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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