(comparative nesher, superlative neshest)
- This is a fairly widespread dialect term throughout Northern England and the Midlands.
From Middle English nesh, nesch, nesche, from Old English hnesce, hnysce, hnæsce (“soft, tender, mild; weak, delicate; slack, negligent; effeminate, wanton”), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskijaz, *hnaskuz, *hnaskwuz (“soft, tender”), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (“to scratch, scrape, rub”). Cognate with Scots nesch, nesh (“soft, tender, yielding easily to pressure, sensitive”), Dutch nesch, nes (“wet, moist”), Gothic (hnaskwus, “soft, tender, delicate”). Compare also nask, nasky, nasty.
(third-person singular simple present neshes, present participle neshing, simple past and past participle neshed)
- To make soft, tender, or weak.
From Middle English neschen, from Old English hnescan, hnescian (“to make soft, soften; become soft, give way, waver”), from Proto-Germanic *hnaskōną, *hnaskēną (“to make soft”), from Proto-Indo-European *knēs-, *kenes- (“to scratch, scrape, rub”). Cognate with Old High German nascōn ("to nibble at, parasitise, squander"; > German naschen (“to nibble, pinch”)).