For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
The late Daniel Cassidy, in his etymological hoax, How The Irish Invented Slang, claims that the English word snigger comes from an Irish phrase, snag gáire, meaning a hiccough of laughter. Of course, the phrase snag gáire is not a real phrase. It does not exist and because of that, it cannot be the origin of anything.
There is no agreement about the genuine origin of snicker/snigger. It may be a variant of a word like nicker used to describe the neighing of a horse, it may be onomatopoeic or it may have some link to the Dutch word snikken.