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Nail in One's Coffin

To drive a nail into one's coffin. To shorten life by anxiety, drink, etc. Topers call a dram “a nail in their coffin,” in jocular allusion to the teetotal axiom.

Care to our coffin adds a nail, no doubt;
But every grin so merry draws one out.

Peter Pindar (John Wolcot): Expostulatory Odes, Ode xv.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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