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NAUTICAL SAYINGS - NIPPER

Tuesday March 10th, 2009
ImageThe slang term for a young lad has nothing to do with the fact he may move about annoyingly quickly or bite and pinch when he gets into a fight. ‘Nipper’ was a name used aboard ships for young boys who were employed to weave together anchor cables. Basically on larger vessels the cables were too thick to bend around a capstan. To solve the problem a thinner, messenger line would be attached. The process of fastening the cables together was called ‘nipping’ and the lads who did it subsequently became known a ‘nippers.’
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