The excerpt below is from Liar's Poker. What nationality does the word "nipper" refer to? Also, is it derogatory?

[...]he'd sell a few hundred millions worth of government bonds and grow bright again. “Yeah, Mikey!” he’d shout, as he scribbled a sales ticket. “The nippers, they love me. And I’m whipping and driving them. OOOOhhhhhhh yeaahhhh.”

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Feb 25 '18 at 23:49

I can see why child makes no sense in the given context - it seems unlikely he was selling government bonds to young kids.

Luckily, urban dictionary gives us an alternative meaning, indeed referring to a nationality:

a demoralizing racial slur used to put down people of Japanese background. equal to calling an asian person a chink or a black person a nigger.

It's not hard to imagine the word being derived from Nippon, the Japanese name of Japan.

  • (Side note to the UD quote: a Chink is not an “Asian person”, but a Chinese person. Like Nipper and Jap, it’s based on the name of the country whose residents it describes.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 25 '18 at 17:53
  • A much more common form is nip, of Private Eye infamy – Chris H Feb 25 '18 at 19:48

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