Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Nails driven into Cottage Walls.

 Nailed.Nails of the Cross. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Nails driven into Cottage Walls.
This was a Roman practice, under the notion that it kept off the plague. L. Manlius was named dictator (A.U.C. 390) “to drive the nail.”   1
   Our cottagers still nail horseshoes to thresholds to ward off evil spirits. Mr. Coutts, the banker, had two rusty horseshoes fastened on the highest step outside Holly Lodge.   2

 Nailed.Nails of the Cross. 


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