nip/rip

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HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello,

The larger fish, which had no room to maneuver inside the pot, have their fins badly nipped and their bodies red raw from attacks by the crabs. One large bluefish, in fact, is dead, with chunks ripped from its underside.

William Warner, Beautiful Swimmers: Waterman, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay

What is the difference between “nipped” and ‘ripped”? is there any particular reason the writer is using “nipped” in the first sentence and “ripped” in the second?

Rip 1.to tear apart roughly or vigorously:
https://www.wordreference.com/definition/rip
Nip 2. to cut off by pinching, biting, or snipping:
nip - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
 
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