Cassidese Glossary – Snoot

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. 

Another incorrect claim made in Daniel Cassidy’s etymological hoax How The Irish Invented Slang is that snoot (as in snooty, stuck up) comes from the Irish snua ard. This is a completely made-up phrase and is not recorded in Irish. Snua is defined as complexion or colour or appearance. Ard means high. So this would mean something like ‘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 would ‘snooa ard’ sound much like snoot, even if it did exist. 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. This is the genuine origin of snoot.

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