On the radar: “Nick”

Steal; verb, transitive. Slang.

Just a few months ago, the New York Times gave this word the full quotation marks/translation treatment: Now, every ”splash” — a tabloid’s Page 1 story — is assumed to have been ”nicked,” or stolen, by a hacked phone or other illicit means.

But in a September 25 Arts review by Steve Smith, the word was used without the bat of an eyelash: Sultry string figures embellished with sweeping harp recalled what Hollywood composers nicked from Duke Ellington; staggered section entries piled up with Gershwin-esque swagger.

Is nicked ready for the big time? Stay tuned. (Thanks to Devin Harner.)

6 responses to “On the radar: “Nick”

  1. Let’s not forget my favorite use of the word, which means that a villian has been caught! “You’re nicked!” not only appears in crime situatiuons, but if a kid nicks a cookie and mum catches him with his hand in the jar…

  2. While watching one of the aforesaid British cop shows the other night my English husband had to translate the following sentence for me (granted it WAS said in an unintelligible south London accent):

    “The last time he talked to Old Bill he ended up getting nicked”.

    I am told this means (for those of us who, despite 5 years living in Britain, are not in the know):

    “The last time he talked to the cops he got arrested”.

  3. The nick is a police station. Sometimes a jail (gaol).

  4. The police are, in what I perceive to be obsolescent London slang outside telly drama, “THE Old Bill”, not plain “Old Bill”.

  5. “Nicked” was used in an early Law & Order:Criminal Intent (by the Goren character). Around about the same time, another episode had a character saying “Loo”. Both jarred with me (as a Brit).

    Oh, and you’re started using “bumper” for “fender”.

  6. How weird… I guess I’ve never seen this word spelled before. It’s always been in my head as “knick” … probably from “knickerbocker” or something

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