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See also: Nipper



nip +‎ -er


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɪpə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪpə(ɹ)


nipper (plural nippers)

  1. One who, or that which, nips.
    • 1953, Samuel Beckett, Watt
      Watt saw the little movements of the stuff, the little bulgings and crumplings, and the sudden indrawings, where it was nipped, between forefinger and thumb probably, for those are the nippers.
  2. (usually in the plural) Any of various devices (as pincers) for nipping.
  3. (slang) A child.
  4. (Australia) A child aged from 5 to 13 in the Australian surf life-saving clubs.
    • 2003 Some Like It Hot: The Beach As a Cultural Dimension
      SLSA has become a multi-million dollar enterprise comprising 262 clubs located around the Australian coastline, with 100000 members, which included thousands of juniors or 'nippers', as they were more commonly known.
    • 2008, Tania Cassidy, Robyn L. Jones, Paul Potrac, Understanding Sports Coaching: The Social, Cultural and Pedagogical Foundations of Coaching Practice
      It is the first day of training for a group of ten 'little nippers' (novice surf life-savers). An assortment of children expectantly hover in the clubhouse.
    • 2009, Didgeridoos and Didgeridon'ts: A Brit 's Guide to Moving Your Life Down Under
      Every club around Australia offers a Nippers programme. Nippers is open to children from the age of 5 through to 13 years old []
    • October 6, 2011, [1]
      The Nippers program, for children aged five to thirteen, promotes water safety skills and confidence in a safe beach environment
    • September 5, 2013, Eve Jeffery, "Nippers season begins on the north coast", in Echonetdaily
      Of our movement’s 153,000 members, over 58,500 are nippers (5-13 years). This equates to nearly 40% of our total membership and shows just how significant the junior movement is within surf lifesaving.
  5. (historical) A boy working as a navvies' assistant.
  6. (Canada, slang, Newfoundland) A mosquito.
  7. One of four foreteeth in a horse.
  8. (obsolete) A satirist.
    • 1570, Roger Ascham, The Schoolmaster
      [] ready backbiters, sore nippers, and spiteful reporters privily of good men.
  9. (obsolete, slang) A pickpocket; a young or petty thief.
  10. A fish, the cunner.
  11. A European crab (Polybius henslowii).
  12. The claws of a crab or lobster.
  13. A young bluefish.
  14. (dated) A machine used by a ticket inspector to stamp passengers' tickets.
    • 1908, Transport World (volume 24, page 319)
      The railway ticket nipper has the identification number of the conductor on it []
  15. One of a pair of automatically locking handcuffs.




nipper (third-person singular simple present nippers, present participle nippering, simple past and past participle nippered)

  1. (nautical, transitive) To seize (two ropes) together.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “nipper” in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)