Nipper

Nipper

The anchor cable was a nine-stranded cable-laid rope which came through the hawse-pipe, ran alongside the two capstans (on the main-deck), and was stowed down in the cable tier beneath the main deck. Nippers were short pieces of rope (stoppers) one end of which would be fastened to the ‘messenger’, the other end to the cable, and as the cable was hove in, and the ‘nippers’ reached the barrel of the larger capstan, small boys would ‘fleet’ them (i.e. untie and move them) and fasten them on again near the small capstan.

It was from such circumstances that the word ‘nipper’ entered our language as the name for a small boy.

This entry was posted in Article, General News, Nautical trivia. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
Website by - WildWeb Modifications by JFC