Version 5.5.1 - timeout not working

I would like long queries to kill themselves after ~ 30 seconds, in case of unexpected scenarios of growing load on the server.
It already happened that my whole cluster was under heavy load with a growing pile of search tasks (by checking GET _tasks).

I am testing the timeout parameter like this

POST index_name/_search?timeout=1nanos
  "size": 10000

but I get in the result:

  "took": 38,
  "timed_out": false,

I also tried with heavier aggregation that took 10 seconds and it doesn't time out.

  1. What does the timeout parameter do?
  2. Is there any way to accomplish this?

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