|John (scouse) Hirons|
Membership Level: Full
Quoting: john richards
I know this is a silly question, but exactly what is the origin of the expression ’in the nick of time’?
For the winner:-
a bound copy of ’Terry Carey: The early Years’.
Alright John, I cheated & Googled it So I quote:-
Nick meaning ’the precise moment’ is first found in the 1570s and was said to have been common by the late sixteenth century; nick of time itself is recorded from the middle of the seventeenth centuy. The literal use of nick ’a small notch’ is found in the late fifteenth century. The ultimate origin of this nick is uncertain."
The expression about three centuries old, formed when someone added the redundant ’of time’ to the older expression, ’in the nick,’ which meant the same thing. A nick is a groove, a notch, as made with a sharp knife when one cuts a V in a stick of wood. Nothing could express precision more accurately than a notch so formed, especially when applied to time
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