What Does the Expression “In the Nick of Time” Mean and Where Did the Idiom Come From?

The nick is a cut or notch made on a piece of wood.

During medieval times, long before punch-in time clocks or other methods of modern tabulation, attendance, especially at schools and church services, was registered with a nick on a personalized stick of wood.

If someone failed to show up on time, no nick was recorded, for which there would be suitable punishment.

what does the expression in the nick of time mean and where did the idiom come from

When we arrive at the last minute, we say we got there just in “the nick of time”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.