Podcast: The nail in the coffin – Inglês Online

Podcast: The nail in the coffin

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Sep 24
Inglês - Podcast The nail in the coffin

Hi, there. No podcast de hoje você me ouve falar um idiom super, super comum com a palavra nail. Ouça e confira!


Hi, there. You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Download the Inglês Online app at the Google Play Store or the Apple Store – search for “inglês online Ana”. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

Our first expression of today uses the word ‘coffin’. Yep, coffin, that sort of box that we use to bury people who have passed away… dead people. The idiom is nail in the coffin. I think it’ll be easier to get it if I give you an example, so let me read to you what this guy, Scott Mendelson, tweeted out:

So, let’s break this down a little bit: the first part of his question is “Will the new Terminator cement Paramount’s comeback”. He is, of course, talking about the Terminator franchise, the series of movies starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger… at least the past ones were. I don’t know if Arnold is in the new one, but, you know, moving on…

So, that guy is asking if this new Terminator movie will cement, or solidify, Paramount’s comeback. A comeback is a return after recovering from a state where things were not so good. So, again, I don’t know a lot about the state of this huge movie studio, Paramount, but I assume things have not been going so well for them. Otherwise, why would they need to have a comeback?

So, if this new installment of the Terminator does well at the box office, it may be just what Paramount studios need to come back from whatever troubles they were having.

Let’s get to the second part of Scott Mendelson’s tweet now! Here’s the full question he asked: Will the new Terminator cement Paramount’s comeback, or be a final nail in the coffin? What does he mean by “nail in the coffin”?

This is what he means: Paramount is already in bad shape – again, everyone, I haven’t checked to see if this is true, but I assume it is. So, Paramount is struggling; it’s facing a difficult time. In a case like this, the nail in the coffin is the event or circumstance that finally brings the situation to a complete failure. It terminates the suffering. See what I did there? Pun intended.

It’s more or less what we say in Brazil as “golpe de misericórdia”… I think it’s slightly different but close enough. So, I think now Scott’s tweet is clear: will the Terminator save Paramount, or be the nail in the coffin that makes it go bankrupt, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.

So, imagine that this guy Peter starts a new business, but right away he’s running into all sorts of trouble. He hasn’t been able to find a competent assistant and his suppliers have just told him they ran out of pencils, which is what Peter sells. So, his business is struggling and Peter has had to work extremely long hours for several weeks now in order to try and turn things around.

The thing is, a few days ago he found out his business partner Steve ran away and took all his money with him. Like, everything. That was the nail in the coffin – Peter has declared bankruptcy.

So, do you have any examples for nail in the coffin? Let me know, and see you soon!


Key expressions

  • nail in the coffin



let’s break this down = vamos por partes

installment = capítulo

if it does well at the box office = se ele for sucesso de bilheteria

to be in bad shape = estar em maus lençóis, em condições ruins ou críticas. Também usado para dizer que alguém está em ‘má forma’

go bankrupt = ir á/ou abrir falência

pun intended = o trocadilho / jogo de palavras foi intencional

  • Maria Helena says:

    Olá Ana gosto dos pode casts porém tenho pouco tempo para acompanha los estou preparando me para retornar ao estudo do inglês em 2019.

  • marco miguel says:

    So, let’s change Brazil’s politics or will it be a final nail in the coffin.

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