snollygoster Look up snollygoster at
1846, American English slang, fanciful coinage.
snood (n.) Look up snood at
Old English snod "ribbon for the hair," from Proto-Germanic *snodo (source also of Swedish snod "string, cord"), from PIE root *(s)ne- "to spin, sew" (source also of Lettish snate "a linen cover," Old Irish snathe "thread;" see needle (n.)). In the Middle Ages, typically worn by young unmarried girls, hence "It was held to be emblematic of maidenhood or virginity" [Century Dictionary]. Modern fashion meaning "bag-like hair net" first recorded 1938 (these also were worn by girls in the Middle Ages, but they are not snoods properly).
snook (n.) Look up snook at
"derisive gesture," 1791, of unknown origin.
snooker (v.) Look up snooker at
"to cheat," early 1900s, from snooker (n.). Related: Snookered; snookering.
One of the great amusements of this game is, by accuracy in strength, to place the white ball so close behind a pool ball that the next player cannot hit a pyramid ball, he being "snookered" from all of them. If he fail to strike a pyramid ball, this failure counts one to the adversary. If, however, in attempting to strike a pyramid ball off a cushion, he strike a pool ball, his adversary is credited with as many points as the pool ball that is struck would count if pocketed by rule. [Maj.-Gen. A.W. Drayson, "The Art of Practical Billiards for Amateurs," 1889]
snooker (n.) Look up snooker at
1889, the game and the word said in an oft-told story to have been invented in India by British officers as a diversion from billiards. The name is perhaps a reference (with regard to the rawness of play by a fellow officer) to British slang snooker "newly joined cadet, first-term student at the R.M. Academy" (1872). Tradition ascribes the coinage to Col. Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the later prime minister of the same name), at the time subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment in Jubbulpore. One of the first descriptions of the game is in A.W. Drayson's "The Art of Practical Billiards for Amateurs" (1889), which states in a footnote "The rules of the game of snooker are the copyright of Messrs. Burroughes & Watts, from whom they may be obtained," they being manufacturers of billiard tables.
snookums (n.) Look up snookums at
trivial term of endearment, 1919, from Snooks, proper name used in Britain for "a hypothetical person" (1860), compare Joe Blow in U.S. As an actual proper name, Snooks dates back to the Domesday Book and may be from Old English *snoc "a projecting point of land" (perhaps here with sense of "a big nose").
snoop (n.) Look up snoop at
1891, "act of snooping," from snoop (v.). Meaning "one who snoops" is from 1929; meaning "detective" is from 1942. snooper "one who pries or peeps" is from 1889.
snoop (v.) Look up snoop at
1832, "to go around in a prying manner," American English, probably from Dutch snoepen "to pry," also "eat in secret, eat sweets, sneak," probably related to snappen "to bite, snatch" (see snap (v.)). Specific meaning "to pry into other people's business" is attested from 1921. Related: Snooped; snooping.
snoopy (adj.) Look up snoopy at
1895, from snoop (n.) + -y (2). The cartoon dog of that name in the "Peanuts" newspaper comic strip debuted in 1950.
snoot (n.) Look up snoot at
"the nose," 1861, originally a Scottish variant of snout.
snootful (n.) Look up snootful at
"as much (liquor) as one can take," 1885, from snoot (n.) + -ful.
snooty (adj.) Look up snooty at
"proud, arrogant," 1918, noted that year as college slang, from snoot (n.) + -y (2). Probably with suggestions of snouty (1858); the notion being of "looking down one's nose." Related: Snootily; snootiness.
snooze (v.) Look up snooze at
1789, cant word, of unknown origin, perhaps echoic of a snore. Related: Snoozed; snoozing. The noun meaning "a short nap" is from 1793. Snooze-alarm is from 1965.
snore (v.) Look up snore at
mid-15c., probably related to snort (v.) and both probably of imitative origin (compare Dutch snorken, Middle High German snarchen, German schnarchen, Swedish snarka; see snout). Related: Snored; snoring.
snore (n.) Look up snore at
mid-14c., "a snort;" c. 1600, "act of snoring," of imitative origin; see snore (v.).
snorkel (n.) Look up snorkel at
1944, "airshaft for submarines," from German Schnorchel, from German navy slang Schnorchel "nose, snout," related to schnarchen "to snore" (see snore (n.)). So called from its resemblance to a nose and its noise when in use. The Englished spelling first recorded 1949. The meaning "curved tube used by a swimmer to breathe under water" is first recorded 1951.
snort (v.) Look up snort at
late 14c., "to snore," probably related to snore (v.). Meaning "breathe through the nose with a harsh sound" first recorded 1520s. Sense of "express contempt" is from 1818. Meaning "to inhale cocaine" is first attested 1935. Related: Snorted; snorting. American English snorter "something fierce or furious" is from 1833.
snort (n.) Look up snort at
1808, "act of snorting," from snort (v.). Meaning "a drink of liquor" (especially whiskey) is from 1889.
snot (n.) Look up snot at
late 14c., from Old English gesnot "nasal mucus," from Proto-Germanic *snuttan (source also of Old Frisian snotta, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch snotte, Middle Low German snute), from the same base as snout. Old English also had a verb snite "wipe or pick one's nose." Meaning "despicable person" is from 1809.
snotty (adj.) Look up snotty at
1560s, "full of snot," from snot + -y (2). Meaning "impudent, curt, conceited" is from 1870. Related: Snottily; snottiness. Snotnose "upstart" is from 1941; snotty-nose "contemptible fellow" is from c. 1600.
snout (n.) Look up snout at
early 13c., "trunk or projecting nose of an animal," from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch snute "snout," from Proto-Germanic *snut- (source also of German Schnauze, Norwegian snut, Danish snude "snout"), which Watkins traces to a hypothetical Germanic root *snu- forming words having to do with the nose, imitative of a sudden drawing of breath (compare Old English gesnot "nasal mucus;" German schnauben "pant, puff, snort" (Austrian dialect), schnaufen "breathe heavily, pant," Schnupfen "cold in the head;" Old Norse snaldr "snout" (of a serpent), snuthra "to sniff, snuffle"). Of other animals and (contemptuously) of humans from c. 1300.
snow (v.) Look up snow at
c. 1300, from the noun, replacing Old English sniwan, which would have yielded modern snew (which existed as a parallel form until 17c. and, in Yorkshire, even later), from the root of snow (n.). The Old English verb is cognate with Middle Dutch sneuuwen, Dutch sneeuwen, Old Norse snjova, Swedish snöga.
Also þikke as snow þat snew,
Or al so hail þat stormes blew.
[Robert Mannyng of Brunne, transl. Wace's "Chronicle," c. 1330]
The figurative sense of "overwhelm; surround, cover, and imprison" (as deep snows can do to livestock) is 1880, American English, in phrase to snow (someone) under. Snow job "strong, persistent persuasion in a dubious cause" is World War II armed forces slang, probably from the same metaphoric image.
snow (n.) Look up snow at
Old English snaw "snow, that which falls as snow; a fall of snow; a snowstorm," from Proto-Germanic *snaiwaz (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German sneo, Old Frisian and Middle Low German sne, Middle Dutch snee, Dutch sneeuw, German Schnee, Old Norse snjor, Gothic snaiws "snow"), from PIE root *sniegwh- "snow; to snow" (source also of Greek nipha, Latin nix (genitive nivis), Old Irish snechta, Irish sneachd, Welsh nyf, Lithuanian sniegas, Old Prussian snaygis, Old Church Slavonic snegu, Russian snieg', Slovak sneh "snow"). The cognate in Sanskrit, snihyati, came to mean "he gets wet." As slang for "cocaine" it is attested from 1914.
snow-blind (adj.) Look up snow-blind at
1748, from snow (n.) + blind (adj.).
snow-goose (n.) Look up snow-goose at
1771, from snow (n.) + goose (n.).
snow-plow (n.) Look up snow-plow at
also snowplow, snow-plough, 1792, first mentioned in a New Hampshire context, from snow (n.) + plow (n.).
snow-shoe (n.) Look up snow-shoe at
also snowshoe, 1670s, from snow (n.) + shoe (n.). Related: Snowshoes.
snow-tire (n.) Look up snow-tire at
1952, from snow (n.) + tire (n.). Earlier mud-and-snow tire (1948).
snow-white (adj.) Look up snow-white at
Old English snawhwit, from snow (n.) + white (adj.). Similar formation in Dutch sneeuwwit, Middle Low German snewhit, German schneeweiss, Old Norse snæhvitr, Swedish snöhvit, Danish snehvid. The fairy tale is so-called from 1885, translating German Schneewittchen in Grimm; the German name used in English by 1858.
snowball (v.) Look up snowball at
"to make snowballs," 1680s, from snowball (n.); sense of "to throw snowballs at" (someone) is from 1850. Meaning "to increase rapidly" is attested from 1929, though the image of a snowball increasing in size as it rolls along had been used since at least 1613, and a noun sense of "a pyramid scheme" is attested from 1892. Related: Snowballed; snowballing.
snowball (n.) Look up snowball at
c. 1400, from snow (n.) + ball (n.1). Similar formation in West Frisian sniebal, Middle Dutch sneubal, German Schneeball, Danish snebold. Expression snowball's chance (in hell) "no chance" is recorded by 1910.
snowbank (n.) Look up snowbank at
1779, from snow (n.) + bank (n.2).
snowbird (n.) Look up snowbird at
also snow-bird, from 1680s in reference to various types of birds associated with snow, from snow (n.) + bird (n.1). From 1923 in reference to northern U.S. workers who went to the South in the winter months to work; by 1979 in reference to tourists.
snowbound (adj.) Look up snowbound at
1814, from snow (n.) + bound (adj.1).
Snowdon Look up Snowdon at
mountain in Caernarvonshire, northern Wales, from English snow (n.) + Old English dun "hill, mountain" (see down (n.2); presumably translating a former Celtic name. The height is snow-covered much of the year.
snowdrift (n.) Look up snowdrift at
c. 1300, from snow (n.) + drift (n.).
snowdrop (n.) Look up snowdrop at
early flower, 1660s, from snow (n.) + drop (n.).
snowfall (n.) Look up snowfall at
1821, "fall of snow," especially a quiet one (as distinguished from a snowstorm), from snow (n.) + storm (n.). From 1875 as "amount that falls at a place in a given time."
snowflake (n.) Look up snowflake at
1734, from snow (n.) + flake (n.).
snowman (n.) Look up snowman at
also snow-man, 1827, from snow (n.) + man (n.).
snowmobile (n.) Look up snowmobile at
1931, in reference to Admiral Byrd's expedition, from snow (n.) + ending from automobile, etc.
snowstorm (n.) Look up snowstorm at
1771, from snow (n.) + storm (n.).
snowy (adj.) Look up snowy at
Old English snawig; see snow (n.) + -y (2). Related: Snowiness. Similar formation in Middle Low German sneig, Old High German snewac, German schneeig, Old Norse snæugr, Swedish snögig, Danish sneig.
snub (adj.) Look up snub at
"short and turned up," 1725, in snub-nosed, from snub (v.). The connecting notion is of being "cut short."
snub (v.) Look up snub at
mid-14c., "to check, reprove, rebuke," from Old Norse snubba "to curse, chide, snub, scold, reprove." The ground sense is perhaps "to cut off," and the word probably is related to snip. Compare Swedish snobba "lop off, snuff (a candle)," Old Norse snubbotr "snubbed, nipped, with the tip cut off." Meaning "treat coldly" appeared early 18c. Related: Snubbed; snubbing.
snub (n.) Look up snub at
"rebuke, intentional slight," 1530s, from snub (v.).
snudge (n.) Look up snudge at
"a miser, a mean avaricious person," 1540s, "very common from c. 1550-1610" [OED].
snuff (v.1) Look up snuff at
"to cut or pinch off the burned part of a candle wick," mid-15c., from noun snoffe "burned part of a candle wick" (late 14c.), of unknown origin, perhaps related to snuff (v.2). The meaning "to die" is from 1865; that of "to kill" is from 1932; snuff-film, originally an urban legend, is from 1975.
snuff (v.2) Look up snuff at
"draw in through the nose," 1520s, from Dutch or Flemish snuffen "to sniff, snuff," related to Dutch snuiven "to sniff," from Proto-Germanic *snuf- (source also of Middle High German snupfe, German Schnupfen "head-cold"), imitative of the sound of drawing air through the nose (see snout). Related: Snuffed; snuffing.
snuff (n.) Look up snuff at
"powdered tobacco to be inhaled," 1680s, from Dutch or Flemish snuf, shortened form of snuftabak "snuff tobacco," from snuffen "to sniff, snuff" (see snuff (v.2)). The practice became fashionable in England c. 1680. Slang phrase up to snuff "knowing, sharp, wide-awake, not likely to be deceived" is from 1811; the exact sense is obscure unless it refers to the "elevating" properties of snuff.