Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tool, such as pliers or pincers, used for squeezing or nipping.
  • noun A pincerlike part, such as the large claw of a crustacean.
  • noun Chiefly British A small boy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Nautical, to fasten two parts of (a rope) together, in order to prevent it from rendering; also, to fasten nippers to.
  • noun A dram; nip.
  • noun A local name in Australia of species of Alphæus, a genus of prawns.
  • noun One who nips.
  • noun A satirist.
  • noun A thief; a pickpocket; a cutpurse.
  • noun A boy who waits on a gang of navvies, to fetch them water, carry their tools to the smithy, etc.; also, a boy who goes about with and assists a costermonger.
  • noun One of various tools or implements like pincers or tongs: generally in the plural. , , , ,
  • noun An incisor tooth; especially, one of the incisors or fore teeth of a horse.
  • noun One of the great claws or chelæ of a crustacean, as a crab or lobster.
  • noun Nautical, a short piece of rope or selvage used to bind the cable to the messenger in heaving up an anchor.
  • noun A hammock with so little bedding as to be unfit for stowing in the nettings.
  • noun The cunner, Ctenolabrus adspersus: so called from the way in which it nips or nibbles the hook. Also nibbler. See cut under cunner.
  • noun The young bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix; so called by fishermen because it bites or nips pieces out of the menhaden, in the schools of which it is often found.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, nips.
  • noun A fore tooth of a horse. The nippers are four in number.
  • noun obsolete A satirist.
  • noun Old Cant A pickpocket; a young or petty thief.
  • noun The cunner.
  • noun A European crab (Polybius Henslowii).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who, or that which, nips.
  • noun usually plural Any of various devices (as pincers) for nipping.
  • noun slang A child.
  • noun Australia A child aged from 5 to 13 in the Australian surf life-saving clubs.
  • noun Canada, slang, Newfoundland A mosquito.
  • noun One of four foreteeth in a horse.
  • noun obsolete A satirist.
  • noun obsolete, slang A pickpocket; a young or petty thief.
  • noun A fish, the cunner.
  • noun A European crab (Polybius henslowii).
  • noun The claws of a crab or lobster.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a young person of either sex
  • noun a grasping structure on the limb of a crustacean or other arthropods

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The term nipper tipping is a combination of the WWII epithet for the Japanese and the childish prank of tipping sleeping cows.

    Silly Immigrants, Canada Is For White People

  • The term nipper tipping is a combination of the WWII epithet for the Japanese and the childish prank of tipping sleeping cows.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • I am still front line and you know when a nipper is in danger and you know when to act.

    Upside Your Head « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • The practice has a name -- "nipper-tipping" -- the word "nipper," like that other n-word, being a racial slur.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • The connotations are what's important here, though; "nipper" implies a child who's small enough and quick enough to "nip" -- to dart nimbly to and fro, here and there, like the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist or Shakespeare's Puck.

    Losts in Translation

  • The connotations are what's important here, though; "nipper" implies a child who's small enough and quick enough to "nip" -- to dart nimbly to and fro, here and there, like the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist or Shakespeare's Puck.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • Mr. Beale begged of all likely foot-passengers, but he noted that the "nipper" no longer "stuck it on."

    Harding's Luck

  • But as a trainee, or "nipper", gardener back in 1963, flowerpot man Alan almost quit to fit carpets instead.

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  • "nipper-tipping" -- the word "nipper," like that other n-word, being a racial slur.

    Dawg's Blawg

  • What does he consider a big 'nipper'? ")" come up to Pine Camp.

    Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp or, the Old Lumberman's Secret

Comments

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  • A young person, a kid. I always thought it was related to the crab, in the sense of biting ones ankles, but nyp suggests an alternative.

    November 10, 2007

  • A whaleman's nipper is a short firm strip of tendinous stuff cut from the tapering part of Leviathan's tail: it averages an inch in thickness, and for the rest, is about the size of the iron part of a hoe. Edgewise moved along the oily deck, it operates like a leathern squilgee; and by nameless blandishments, as of magic, allures along with it all impurities.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 94

    July 29, 2008