Please explain the title of the following image:

enter image description here

I know that tuck away is an idiom and may have a literal or figurative meaning.

I also understand that according to The Free Dictionary, definition #16 nip may be: 16. (Medicine) plastic surgery performed for cosmetic reasons.

Despite all the above mentioned I cannot realize the meaning of the whole sentence.

Do I have to consider the literal meaning and as such the sentence may read:

We are only (plastic surgery performed for cosmetic reasons) = nip, and are hiding the body non conformities?

  • 1
    I think it's also a play on the expression we're just a phone call away or something similar to that. I think it's supposed to suggest ease, convenience, cost value, etc...
    – shawnt00
    Jan 11, 2016 at 21:52

5 Answers 5


"Nip" can mean to make a cut, and "tuck" can mean to fold something. "Nip and tuck" together typically refer to performing plastic surgery. There was a television show called "Nip/Tuck" that was about plastic surgeons.

As this ad is for cosmetic surgery, I think this can be taken on that level. "Tuck away" was a good guess, but this use of "away" is more like "now we are just one step away"- not idiomatic.

  • 8
    Just to clarify, a "nip and tuck" refers to a type of plastic surgery, it's not a general term for plastic surgery. Specifically it's a common type of cosmetic procedure.
    – Era
    Jan 11, 2016 at 19:00
  • 4
    @Era - And just as importantly, I think, is that it's considered a minor cosmetic procedure.
    – J.R.
    Jan 11, 2016 at 19:41

Now we're only a nip and tuck away

The style seems similar to a common advertising style, for example "We are just a phone call away", meaning their services are nearby or conveniently available. In this case, it is saying that there is a "nip and tuck" available nearby.

nip and tuck is idiomatic and refers to plastic surgery where excess fat is removed to improve one's figure. See nip and tuck:

n. Informal
A cosmetic surgical procedure in which skin and usually fat are removed and muscle is sometimes tightened to create a slimmer or more youthful appearance.

Hence the slim model.


It is a play on words, the phrase needs to be taken as a whole: nip and tuck

Nip and tuck is slang for plastic surgery (as popularized by the US TV show) but is also an idiom with the meaning of being very closely contested especially in athletic competitions.

The outcome was uncertain, it was nip and tuck all the way between the two boxers

One can envision two boxers, battling it out in close proximity to each other, forehead to forehead

So the advert saying the clinic is only a nip and tuck away (close by) and you are only a nip and tuck away (plastic surgery procedure) from Transforming yourself.


First, while "tuck away" is indeed an idiom (meaning roughly "hide something of value for use in the future"), that is not at all the meaning here. You have to parse the sentence differently. The sentence has the direct meaning "Now we're only away [from where you live/work], and so it it is more convenient for you to visit us." (See the small print "Now open in West London"). But the expression "Nip and tuck" is intentionally mixing two idioms: (1) has the meaning of minor cosmetic surgery (which is what the advertising is about), and (2) comes from the older meaning of a race in which (say) two horses are each very close to the lead, perhaps exchanging a small lead back and forth. In other words, a very small distance. A similar expression (for a race - NOT for plastic surgery!) is "neck and neck".

  • Yes, you are right, I parsed it the wrong way +1. Jan 12, 2016 at 21:11

From Cambridge Dictionaries Online:

a nip (here) and a tuck (there)

a ​series of ​small ​reductions:

The ​department made a nip here and a ​tuck there, but they were still way over ​budget.

Based on the Cambridge definition, being a nip and a tuck away could mean that the surgeries are very close to where you work or live. This would be consistent with the many locations being listed underneath the ad.

The pun is that a "nip and tuck" is a common term for cosmetic surgery, which is what is being advertised here.


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