Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Word of the Day: Snippy

So what does the word "snippy" mean? It's an adjective, we know that. It is related to any of the following words: assuming, assumptive, audacious, bold, boldfaced, brash, brazen, cheeky, contumelious, familiar, forward, impertinent, impudent, insolent, malapert, nervy, overconfident, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushy, sassy, saucy, smart. Informal: brassy, flip, fresh, smart-alecky, snippety, uppish, uppity.

It's that last word, though, that seems to stand out most of all. Uppity. Snippy is a word that is bestowed by us on to other people - we rarely, if ever, call ourselves snippy. The Snippie, we may assume, is the one who has deemed that the Snipper is, indeed, snippy. The famous line regarding snippy is "don't get snippy with me," which also denotes a relationship between the Snippie and the Snipper that is not exactly equal - in fact Snippies, that is those who call others snippy (the Snippers), appear to take on a rather superior stance. "Don't get snippy with me," sounds like another form of "How dare you!"

And when is someone actually snippy? We are snippy when we dare to take on authority, to call the question, to in fact, question authority. But questioning authority is cool, in some circles (in the old days, liberals questioned authority, but that ended in 1992), and so to say "how dare you question my authority" or "how dare you question her authority" does not seem very, well, progressive. So let's haul out the word "snippy." But who actually uses that word?

Who are the Snippies?

A Snippie must be able to define what is snippy (that is stepping out of the box) and then call someone else - who is uppity - snippy. We get the feeling that Snippers (that is, the one called snippy) may be regarded as inferior, even if the Snippie doesn't realize it - and so the word "snippy" is hauled out and thrown out to the alleged socially, theologically, or intellectually inferior, as in says that BabyBlue "these past few days has been snippy at best."

So if one questions the theology and strategic wisdom of someone oh, let's just say The Presiding Bishop, and one is a mere layperson - and a girl at that - well, wouldn't that seem rather uppity? And so whatever critical view this person might have for an alleged social and intellectual superior would indeed be called being "snippy." At best.

Ah, but we are being snippy, aren't we?

7 comments:

BabyBlue said...

We'd still like to sit around someday, dear Mark, and have a drink and we promise to practice meekness. But we'll only practice it, we won't say we've mastered it. ;-)

bb

Mark Harris said...

Well, I didn't think so... but you are strong. So, as I said, "the rest of us need to stand back."

See you for coffee. Mark

BabyBlue said...

Now that remark I resemble. ;-) I'm glad there is humor in the midst of it all.

-Mary

Kevin said...

I personally think Mark+ has lost it with the rest of them. I'll leave the Kaeton+ thing alone -- 356 post on that subject with the only reappraiser showing his head making some off the wall claim to reasserter being still upset at Brown v. Board of Education (one should study that history, it was a political conservative on court who had it re-argued even those it who 6-3, but he know it needed to be 9-0).

Oh well -- however 'snippy????

Okay, I've seen a WHOLE lot of a movie and book being released, a few Dylan items, a neat sermon posted, an actual critical article about Bono approach to Africa (kind critical, but BB is a big U2 fan, so impressive), and some news of the day as usual on the TEC/AC front.

Mark+, I think you may have lost it!

If anything BB was being introspective with the +Keaton personal attack and the outcry defense being very active on SF on the day she has news of a friend's bereavement. Two of us at least picked up on that element of her post.

Kevin said...

Anyway ... BB ... the word of the day is "GINORMOUS" as in Kaeton's insolence commentary on having many children & using Anne's blog name was a ginormous error on her part.

You have a whole new 100 words to play with this year ... have fun!

Anonymous said...

All this talk of snippy and snippers has made George the Beagle very upset. It reminds him of something that he left at the Vet's.

George wonders if this is a widespread issue...

RalphM

BabyBlue said...

Ralph!

bb