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Nip it in the Bud

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In the late 1500s the phrase nip it in the bloome is the known origin and helps in understanding the true meaning of the saying [source]. Nip it in the bud refers to pruning a flower at the budding stage and it comparable to heartburn suppression: you want to stop it before it starts to escalate. The transformation in connotation may have come from the general English of the 1960s or more specifically The Andy Griffith Show [source]. In the show they weaved the phrase with a lesson in child discipline.

 

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