Snoot, Snooty

Another ridiculous claim in Daniel Cassidy’s dreckfest How The Irish Invented Slang is that snoot (as in snooty, stuck up) comes from the Irish snua ard. As usual, of course, this is a made up phrase and is not recorded in Irish. Snua is defined as complexion or colour or appearance. Ard means high. So this means ‘a high complexion’ (though there is no evidence in my experience of the language or in the dictionaries that ard would be used in contexts like this the way high is in English, to mean ruddy.) In other words, ‘a high complexion’ is pretty meaningless in Irish and certainly doesn’t convey the idea of snobbishness.

Neither does ‘snooa ard’ sound much like snoot. And then again, there is the fact that snoot is a Scottish variant of snout, meaning nose, and the idea of snobbishness comes from the notion of someone looking down their nose at you. As usual, Cassidy’s claim is just fatuous made-up garbage.


One thought on “Snoot, Snooty

  1. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

    I came across an interesting piece by Seosamh Mac Grianna today. It was in an article he had originally written in 1932. In the article he talks about the interest many Irish people took in Edward, Prince of Wales (the Nazi who went off with Mrs Simpson) and he calls Edward ‘snúta beag suarach’ which roughly translates as ‘a worthless little snoot.’ The form of the word (with an -a at the end) shows that it is a foreign word, not a native Irish term and certainly nothing to do with ‘snua ard’.


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