I was watching 'On The Buses' (British comedy) and I came across the word 'nick' being used to mean something along the lines of 'idiot'. I've never heard nick being used to mean 'idiot'.

One of the character sat on a couch and there was a needle which pricked him. He said: You stupid great nick.

I searched in all the dictionaries I had access to but didn't find it used in this sense.

Does it mean 'idiot'?

On The Buses - timestamp: 7:20


2 Answers 2


The word is "nit", which is indeed a word for "idiot" (but I don't think many people would use it now: slang goes in and out of fashion).

  • I’ve never heard “nit” but “nitwit” is common enough.
    – Laurel
    May 13, 2020 at 2:55

Yes, the meaning is idiot, fool. Actually a very old slang term:


[SE nit, a louse; the implication is perhaps more of its insignificance than of its verminous qualities]

a fool.

  • c.1595 [UK] Shakespeare Love’s Labour’s Lost IV i: Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit.


  • I'm pretty sure that this misses a step - in this context 'nit' is short for 'nit-wit' i.e. someone with the mental faculties of a small insect typically found in human hair.
    – MikeB
    Nov 7, 2020 at 19:31

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