Snap-Dragons to Societe de Momus

Snap-Dragons (See Flap-Dragon .)

Snap of the Fingers Not worth a snap of the fingers. A fico. (See Fig .)

Snap One's Nose Off (See under Nose .)

Snark. The imaginary animal invented by Lewis Carroll as the subject of his poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876). It gave endless trouble and was very elusive. When the hunters finally tracked it down, their quarry proved to be a Boojum. The name is a portmanteau word of snake and shark and has sometimes been given to the quests of dreamers and visionaries.

Snarling Letter (Latin, litera canina). The letter . (See R .)

Sneck Posset To give one a sneck posset is to slam the door in his face (Cumberland and Westmoreland). The “sneck” or snick is the latch of a door, and to “sneck the door in one's face” is to shut a person out. Mrs. Browning speaks of “nicking” the door.

“The lady closed
That door, and nicked the lock.” Aurora Leigh, book vi. line 1,067.
Probably allied to niche, to put the latch into its niche.

Sneezed It is not to be sneezed at- not to be despised. (See Snuff .)

Sneezing Some Catholics attribute to St. Gregory the use of the benediction “God bless you,” after sneezing, and say that he enjoined its use during a pestilence in which sneezing was a mortal symptom, and was therefore called the death-sneeze. Aristotle mentions a similar custom among the Greeks; and Thucydides tells us that sneezing was a crisis symptom of the great Athenian plague. The Romans followed the same custom, and their usual exclamation was “Absit omen!” We also find it prevalent in the New World among the native Indian tribes, in Sennaar, Monomatapa, etc. etc.
    It is almost incredible how ancient and how widely diffused is the notion that sneezing is an omen which requires to be averted. The notion prevailed not only in ancient Greece and Rome, but is existent in Persia, India, and even Africa. The rabbis tell us that Jacob in his flight gave a sneeze, the evil effects of which were averted by prayer.
   In the conquest of Florida, when the Spaniards arrived, the Cazique, we are told, sneezed, and all the court lifted up their hands and implored the sun to avert the evil omen.
   In the rebellion of Monomatapa, in Africa, the king sneezed, and a signal of the fact being given, all the faithful subjects instantly made vows and offerings for his safety. The same is said respecting Sennaar, in Nubia, in Sweden, etc.
   The Sadder (one of the sacred books of the Parsees) enjoins that all people should have recourse to prayer if a person sneezes, because sneezing is a proof that the “Evil Spirit is abroad.”
   Foote, in his farce of Dr. Last in His Chariot, makes one of the consulting doctors ask why when a person sneezes, all the company bows? and the answer given was that “sneezing is a mortal symptom which once depopulated Athens.”

“In Sweden, ... you sneeze, and they cry God bless you.”- Longfellow.
Snickersnee A large clasp-knife, or combat with clasp-knives. (“Snick,” Icelandic snikka, to clip; verb, snitte, to cut. “Snee” is the Dutch snee, an edge; snijden, to cut.) Thackeray, in his Little Billee, uses the term “snickersnee.”

“One man being busy in lighting his pipe, and another in sharpening his snickersnee.”- Irving: Bracebridge Hall, p. 462.
Snider Rifle (See Gun .)

Snob Not a gentleman; one who arrogates to himself merits which he does not deserve. Thackeray calls George IV. a snob, because he assumed to be “the greatest gentleman in Europe,” but had not the genuine stamp of a gentleman's mind. (S privative and nob.)

Snood The lassie lost her silken snood. The snood was a riband with which a Scotch lass braided her hair, and was the emblem of her maiden character. When she married she changed the snood for

  By PanEris using Melati.

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