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Difference between Coffin nail and Nail in the coffin

coffin nail

1. smth. (in a sequence of events) that tends to do serious harm:

  • Every time they buy products made in other countries they are driving another coffin nail into America’s economy.

2. (sl.) a cigarette:

  • Our joking doesn’t seem very funny any more, because for many thousands, cigarettes really do become coffin nails.

nail in the coffin— = coffin nail 1:

  • The vote is another nail in the coffin of the one-party system which the country has now largely renounced.