1550s, "small piece of cloth cut off or out," probably from Dutch or Low German snippen "to snip, shred," which is of imitative origin. The meaning "a single cut made by shears or scissors" is from 1590s. Figurative of a small amount of anything from 1580s. As a nickname or cant word for a tailor, 1590s.
"smart, cutting remarks; witty repartee" is by 1727 (Pope, "Art of Sinking"), from snip (v.) + snap (v.). Marlowe in the same sense has snipper-snapper (1590s). A characteristic of 18th century heroic couplets, including Pope's. It is attested from 1670s as an adjective; 1590s as a verb, and 1580s as an adverb: "snip, snap, quick and home; it rejoiceth my intellect : true wit." ("Love's Labours Lost"). Snip-snap-snorum, the card game, is 1755, from Low German.
by c. 1200 as an emphatic form of Old English of (see of), employed in the adverbial use of that word. The prepositional meaning "away from" and the adjectival sense of "farther" were not firmly fixed in this variant until 17c., but once they were they left the original of with the transferred and weakened senses of the word. Meaning "not working" is from 1861.
Off the cuff "extemporaneously, without preparation" (1938) is from the notion of speaking from notes written in haste on one's shirt cuffs. In reference to clothing, off the rack (adj.) "not tailored, not made to individual requirements, ready-made" is by 1963, on the notion of buying it from the rack of a clothing store; off the record "not to be publicly disclosed" is from 1933; off the wall "crazy" is 1968, probably from the notion of a lunatic "bouncing off the walls" or else in reference to carom shots in squash, handball, etc.
"to kill," 1930, from off (adv.). Earlier verbal senses were "to defer" (1640s), "to move off" (1882). Related: Offed.