nip along

< Previous | Next >

amax

Member
Brazilian Portuguese
A group of sailors has just got to an island.
They are on the beach watching natives fishing on boats.
They decide to ask their captain for permission to go help them out.

"Seeing them down there, working their fingers to the bones, we thought... that is, the lads and I thought, that we might just... Well, just nip
along
and give them a little hand, sir."

I've found in a thread "nip along" defined as to rush, to hurry up; however this doesn't make sense in the context of the scene...
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Nip can also mean simply 'go (quickly)', Amax. Here I'd say it just means 'go (and come back quickly)'.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is in the WR Dictionary, a good place to look first
    nip1
    ▶verb (nips, nipping, nipped)
    • 1 pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply. ■ (nip something off) remove something by pinching or squeezing sharply.

    • 2 (of the cold or frost) cause pain or harm to.

    • 3 Brit. informal go quickly.

    • 4 US informal steal or snatch.
     

    amax

    Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I've found in a thread "nip along" defined as to rush, to hurry up; however this doesn't make sense in the context of the scene...
    Dear Andygc,
    as I said, this definition didn't seem to fit in the context of the movie, that's why I asked it here. Furthermore, I thought that "nip ALONG" could be some king of idiom or slang.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Dear Andygc,
    as I said, this definition didn't seem to fit in the context of the movie, that's why I asked it here. Furthermore, I thought that "nip ALONG" could be some king of idiom or slang.
    But it fits perfectly - meaning 3 - go quickly. Along is just the adverb modifying the verb (= into company with others).

    On reflection, I can see that your having read a definition of "to rush, to hurry up" was unhelpful and I should have responded at more length. It would be unusual for "nip along" to have that meaning. "To rush" implies urgency, and "hurry up" implies that somebody is being too slow, whereas "nip" (in this meaning) just means go quickly - no urgency, and no tardiness. You might, however, be wanting a child to do something and have the child delaying by asking questions, so say "that's enough questions, just nip along and help your mother like I told you" - I suspect that context is where "hurry up" as a meaning might have come from. However, it is a doubtful meaning - you can't hurry up if you haven't actually started.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top