late 14c., snotte, 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 (q.v.). Old English had also a verb snite "wipe or pick one's nose." The meaning "despicable person" is from 1809. Snot-rag "pocket handkerchief" is by 1886.
updated on February 12, 2023