Op het nippertje

at the very last moment, only just in time, a close call [Dutch phrase of the week] Iconspeaker_3

A "nipper" does not exist, nor does "nippertje" have a meaning of its own. You’ll only hear and use it in this phrase. Another version is "op het laatste nippertje": at the very very last moment.

– "Vanochtend heb ik op het nippertje de trein gehaald."
("This morning I only just managed to catch the train." Note that the Dutch say "de trein halen".)

– "De scholier stak zonder te kijken de spoorwegovergang over, en is op het nippertje aan de dood ontsnapt."
("The pupil/student crossed the railway/road crossing without looking, and escaped death by a hair’s breadth.")

– "Iedereen was ruimschoots op tijd, terwijl Frank weer eens op het laatste nippertje arriveerde."
("Everybody arrived well on time, while Frank once again arrived at the very very last moment.")