Let not poor Nelly starve


      • discourage someone
        Advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit

      • express concern for someone's well-being
        Expressing the desire to ensure that someone does not suffer or go without basic necessities

    Examples of Let not poor Nelly starve

    • We cannot afford to neglect Nelly's needs any longer. Let us ensure that she has enough food and resources to survive. Let not poor Nelly starve on our watch.

      The expression "Let not poor Nelly starve" is an idiom that implies we must not allow someone, in this case, Nelly, who is poor and destitute, to suffer from hunger or lack of resources. It essentially urges us to take action and provide for the needs of this impoverished individual. The origin of this idiom is unclear, and its usage dates back to the 18th century. The phrase "Nelly" could be a generic name used to represent any destitute person, and it serves as a powerful and emotional call to action encouraging people to take responsibility for the welfare of those in need.

    • The orphanage couldn't afford to feed all of their children, and Nelly, the youngest and sickliest child, was in danger of starving. The director of the orphanage, wanting to prevent poor Nelly from starving, began a fundraiser to collect enough donations to provide for her special dietary needs.

      The idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" means to ensure that someone, especially someone who is poor or vulnerable, doesn't suffer from hunger or lack of food. In this example, it's used to convey the urgent need to prevent Nelly, who is poor and sick, from starving due to inadequate resources at the orphanage. By starting a fundraiser, the director is taking action to prevent Nelly from suffering this fate.

    • The small rural community was struggling to provide enough food for their families during the harsh winter months. The local government, wanting to prevent poor Nelly (and other vulnerable members of the community) from starving, organized a food drive to collect canned goods and other non-perishable items for distribution to those in need.

      The idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" is still used in this example, but in a different context. Here, it's being used to convey the urgent need to prevent poverty and hunger in the community as a whole, not just for one individual. By organizing a food drive, the government is taking action to address this need and prevent people from suffering from hunger during a time of scarcity.

    • The busy restaurant was struggling to keep up with the demands of their customers, and a few dishes were starting to run low, including Nelly's dish. The chef, wanting to prevent poor Nelly from starving (and disappointing other customers), quickly improvised and created a new dish using similar ingredients to substitute for the original dish.

      In this example, the idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" is being used in an unexpected way. Here, it's being used to convey the need to ensure that all customers are satisfied, even if it means providing a substitute dish for Nelly (and other customers who might also come looking for her dish). By quickly improvising, the chef was able to prevent Nelly (and others) from leaving the restaurant hungry and disappointed.

    • The old man sat slumped in his chair, barely able to lift a spoon to his mouth. His daughter, realizing that poor Nelly (her father) was in danger of starving due to his advanced age and declining health, contacted a meal delivery service to bring him nutritious meals a few times a week.

      In this final example, the idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" is being used to convey the urgent need to ensure that vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, receive proper nutrition and avoid hunger due to physical limitations or health issues. By contacting a meal delivery service, the daughter was able to prevent her father from starving and ensure that he received the nourishment he needed.


    The idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" can be used to discourage someone from a particular course of action or to express concern for someone's well-being, particularly in the context of ensuring that they have access to basic necessities.

    Origin of "Let not poor Nelly starve"

    The origin of the idiom "Let not poor Nelly starve" is unclear, but it likely originated in the 19th century or earlier. The phrase is often used as a plea to prevent someone from suffering or to caution against a particular action. The name "Nelly" is likely used as a placeholder for any individual who is in need, emphasizing the universal nature of the sentiment. The idiom may have originated in a time when poverty and hunger were more prevalent, and the idea of someone going without food or other necessities was a more pressing concern. Overall, the idiom serves as a reminder to look out for the well-being of others and to discourage actions that may lead to negative outcomes.