The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with hard as nails
hard as nails
Unyielding, callous, unsympathetic, as in Don't ask her for a contribution—she's hard as nails. This expression has replaced the 14th-century simile hard as flint stone and presumably alludes to the rigidity of nails.