Owl About Words: The Snobbery of ‘Sn’s

In a world of growing inequalities, there is no dearth of snobs. We are surrounded by them, as if we were back in the days of aristocracy and feudalism. But who would have ever thought that the word snob itself meant quite the opposite, in its early days.

That’s not all. Ivor Brown, in his book, Just Another Word, introduces us to a whole cluster of words beginning with ‘Sn’ that are all equally contemptuous and haughty. So, if you want to brush up on your snob vocabulary, you had better look up the ‘Sn’s in the OED or any other English dictionary, if you so prefer.

The next time you want to put down a snob, just snirrup or snurp up your nose – another Northern term for turning up your nose, according to Ivor Brown – and use any of these ‘Sn’ words. Just make it snappy.

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