Anchor ropes on old Naval warships had a diameter too large to go around a capstan so a complicated system of nipping lines was used, so called because they were nipped to the anchor rope. This job was usually carried out by children so it was inevitable that they would become known as nippers. Could they also have been the powder monkeys?
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Nipper mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Nipper"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Nipper".