In the English language, the word “nail” has two different meanings. One refers to the hard parts at the ends of your fingers and toes – your fingernails and toenails. The other type of nail is the piece of metal that a hammer pounds to join two pieces of wood together.
However, both types of nails have in common that their dream symbolism can touch on your attitude toward work, especially physical labor.
Nail Dream Summary
Nail Dream Symbolism
Your fingernails can show a lot about the kind of work you do. Whether you have dirty fingernails from doing manual labor, or you feel like your office job puts a lot of pressure on you to keep an attractive appearance including painted and manicured fingernails, a dream of fingernails may symbolize your complex feelings about your work. You could be proud of a job well done, overwhelmed by the need to keep doing it, or some of both.
The dream meaning of an iron nail or other metal nail used in construction could refer to your achievements and work ethic if you do construction professionally or on your own time. However, even if you do not usually physically build things in your waking life, dreaming of metal nails could symbolize that you are trying to bring an idea of yours into reality.
Common Nail Dreams
- Dream about fingernails
- Dream of a broken nail
- Dream of a nail in your foot
- Dream of a nail in your car tire
- Dream of nail polish
- Dream meaning of nail polish colors
Nail Dream Symbolism
Metal nails are often used to build things out of wood. If you regularly use nails and wood in this manner, whether professionally or as a hobby, your dream of nails could reflect your routine activities, as it is common for your dreams to depict things you do often in your waking life. You might be currently working on a construction project that requires more mental effort from you than usual.
If you don’t often build things with nails and wood in your waking life, your dream of metal nails might be more about whatever method you do routinely use to bring your ideas into reality. If you are struggling to find a way to bring your ideas into reality, your dream of nails may suggest that you should start with small, practical steps.
“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is a common saying meaning that people who are different, even for the reason of exceptional positive achievements, are often bullied into becoming more similar to the others around them. Especially if you are already familiar with this saying, a dream of metal nails could refer to a situation where you are afraid of being seen as too good for your peers.
Meanwhile, your fingernails may give you an opportunity to express your individuality, as you can paint and decorate them. Dreaming of wearing a plain outfit but having wildly decorated fingernails could symbolize that you are looking for opportunities to express yourself even if your environment does not overall encourage it.
A metal nail connects two pieces of wood together. Dreaming of metal nails could symbolize that you are seeking to bring people or things together in your life. If people already seem to be leaning toward connecting with each other, you might be interested in making that commitment more formal or binding.
Common Nail Dreams
Dream about fingernails
Sometimes you can tell a lot about the kind of work a person does by looking at their fingernails. If they have dirty fingernails, they might work outdoors or with heavy equipment. This sort of person may also regularly use the metal type of nails.
Dreaming of dirty fingernails could symbolize that you are proud of yourself for a job well done. However, some people feel like manual labor is less important than other kinds of work. Dreams are often affected by the biases of the dreamer, so, if you have this kind of prejudice against manual labor, a dream of dirty fingernails could symbolize your anxiety about being associated with something that you think is beneath you.
People whose jobs are not very physical at least have the option of growing their fingernails long and painting them with nail polish. If you dream of long and painted fingernails, and you are more of a dirty fingernails person yourself, this could symbolize that you think someone in your life is pampered and lazy.
On the other hand, if you do keep your fingernails long and painted, a dream emphasizing long and painted fingernails could symbolize that you feel like you are under a lot of pressure to look good enough to keep up in an environment where it is important to be groomed to that standard.
Dream of a broken nail
Sometimes fingernails or toenails that grow too long can break. Dreaming of a broken fingernail that was intentionally allowed to grow too long for aesthetic purposes could symbolize that you or someone else in your life has become too vain. This person may be so focused on looking good that they can’t get anything productive done.
However, fingernails and toenails can also break due to health problems, like a vitamin deficiency. If you dream of broken fingernails in this way, it could symbolize that you need to pay more attention to the needs of your physical body.
If you dream of a broken metal nail, this may symbolize that you feel like you can’t get things done in the world. You could feel like you don’t have the resources you need to be successful. However, if the nail breaks while you are pounding it with a hammer, your dream might suggest that your aggressive approach to your goals is doing you more harm than good.
Dream of a nail in your foot
While metal nails are very valuable when they are in the right place, they can be dangerous in the wrong place. If a nail is left lying around in the street, you could step on it and injure your foot. Especially if the nail is rusty, you might get a disease, like tetanus.
Dreaming of stepping on a nail could symbolize that you feel like people around you are careless and not attentive to things that could harm you. It might also show that you are frustrated with yourself for not being more aware of hazards in your environment.
As stepping on a nail is associated with the risk of infection or disease, the dream meaning of a nail in your foot could also go more in the direction of symbolizing a fear of contamination. You might be afraid that something in your life is a threat to your health or safety.
Dream of a nail in your car tire
Fortunately, cars can’t catch tetanus, but getting a nail in your car tire can slow you down much like stepping on a nail can. Dreaming of a nail in your car tire could symbolize that minor details are likely to stop you from reaching your goals if you don’t take them seriously. See also car dream symbolism.
Dream of nail polish
Fingernails and toenails can be painted in fun colors with nail polish. If nail polish is something you don’t normally use, your nail polish dream meaning might be that you are interested in taking some risks in how you present yourself. However, if you do regularly use nail polish, your nail polish dream meaning could be that looking good and fitting in socially are big priorities for you.
Dream meaning of nail polish colors
If the color of the nail polish in your dream is emphasized, the qualities associated with that color as discussed in color dream symbolism may be something you feel the need to develop in your life. Alternately, the dream could symbolize that you are already expressing qualities associated with that color, perhaps more than you actually want to.
For example, the color pink symbolizes a fun, lighthearted feeling. Dreaming of wearing pink nail polish could symbolize that you are too serious and need to lighten up a little bit. Alternately, a dream of wearing pink nail polish could go in the other direction, suggesting that you need to become more serious because the people around you regard you as immature. Use the emotional atmosphere and other factors in the dream, as well as what you already know about the context of your waking life, to determine which interpretation is most relevant for you.
What you think of first when you hear the word “nail” can be an interesting test. If you think of fingernails first, that might mean you have different priorities and interests than someone who thinks of metal nails first.
Either way, interpreting your nail dream can answer important questions about how you get things done and get along with others in the practical world.