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1.
Quite possibly the 5 wisest words¹ ever spoken on TV.

¹ Spoken by Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show, circa 1960's.
Barney Fife: "Nip it in the bud! You got to nip it in the bud! ... Nip it! You go read any book you want on the subject of child discipline, and you'll find that every one of 'em is in favor of bud-nippin'... Only one way to take care of it."

Andy Taylor: "Nip it."

Fife: "In the bud."
by TheNcredibleEgg October 22, 2006
 
2.
it means to stop someting before it grows/gets worse. sort of like nipping a flower when it's still a bud so it can't grow.
-holy cow! my zit is huuge!
-yeah, you'd better nip it in the bud before it gets worse.
by Souma July 28, 2004
 
3.
A bud is a flower before it blooms. So if you nip it with scissors, you stop it before it blooms. To prevent a disaster.
you got to nip it in the bud
by Olbaid July 27, 2004