Victorian Slang of the Week – Snobstick and a lot of Snot
This is a great page of The Slang Dictionary.
First you’ve got Snob-stick – a worker who refuses to join in strikes, and what would now be termed a “scab”.
Then there’s Snooks-and-Walker, a number game I was certainly still playing in the 90s, except it was a drinking game called “Fizz Buzz” (and the entry also says “see Buz” so that variant is also an ancient one).
Then there’s a glorious variety of snot-based words. Snottinger for a pocket handkerchief is a good one. But Snotter or Wipe-Hauler is a peculiar one. In other slang books, these terms are simply referred to as meaning a pickpocket who has a particular fancy for the aforementioned snottingers (it takes all sorts). But here it goes into a little more detail:
Snotter, or Wipe-hauler, a pickpocket who commits great depredations upon gentlemen’s pocket-handkerchiefs.
Well, maybe that just means nicking them. But is that all it means? It sounds strangely fetishistic to me.
Lastly, my fave – Snooze. Obviously this slang stuck around and still means the same thing now, but just look at the vulgar pronunciation of it – Snoodge. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m planning to bring this one back, ideally as Rowan Atkinson would say it.
Anyway, it’s Monday morning and I’ve already pressed snoodge twice. Time to get up….