nudge (v.)

"to push slightly with the elbow," 1670s, perhaps from Scandinavian (compare Norwegian nugge, nyggje "to jostle, rub;" Icelandic nugga "to rub, massage"). Figurative sense of "give a hint or signal to," as by a covert touch, is by 1831. Related: Nudged; nudging.

nudge (n.1)

"complainer, nagger," 1960s, from Yiddish, from Slavic words meaning "fret, ache," related to the root of nudnik (q.v.).

nudge (n.2)

"a slight push with the elbow," 1787, from nudge (v.). Figurative sense of "a signal or hint intended to call attention, remind, etc." is by 1831.

updated on July 22, 2019