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#1 2008-07-19 15:31:13

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

snub out << stub out

I’ve heard people talk about “snubbing out” cigarettes. I checked with Google and found that I was hearing them correctly. “Snub out,” both in reference to smokables and generalized to the action of putting an end to something (“snub out crime’), is surprisingly common. See the examples below.

Am I missing something? Don’t we stub out cigarettes? The noun “stub” comes from an Old English word for a tree stump. The verb “to stub,” which was made from the noun, took on a variety of meanings, many of them now obsolete, but all referring in some way to cutting something short or eradicating it. In the nineteenth century the meaning of the noun “stub” was expanded to refer to the part of a cigarette or cigar that was left unsmoked. In the twentieth century the verb “to stub” acknowledged the new meaning of the noun by applying the phrase “stub out” to the act of extinguishing a cigarette.

The word “snub” is most familiar to modern speakers as a social rebuke, but it has had one or two other meanings since the natives of England borrowed the word from Viking invaders. Notably, “to snub” can mean to check or restrain something. The term is still used in this sense in sailing-we stop paying out a rope and “snub it up.” Though this sense of “snubbing” as stopping something short has largely been lost from everyday English, it still hangs around as an adjective applied to small, turned up noses (“snub noses” and “snub-nose guns” are cut short). It is possible, then, that those who snub out cigarettes import this shorten-up meaning of “snub” into the phrase “snub out.” If so, this would make “snub out” an eggcorn and not a simple malaprop.

Examples:

Ezine article about new pickup truck: “There is no place to put a thermos or to snub out cigars. ” (http://www.content.onlypunjab.com/ezine … 2003327106)

Entry in an intertextual collaboration project: “Tony leaned forward to snub out his cigarette in the ashtray.” (http://projects.ltc.arizona.edu/finding … iogen.html)

Spam email advice on a forum: “Do not blame on other people who started it, instead snub out the fire b4 others victims like myself get burnt. ” (http://talkback.stomp.com.sg/forums/sho … php?t=4260)

Myspace page about the twist dance: “Remember Chubby Checker? Remember the dance he created, when you first snub out a dog-end with your left foot, while energetically wiggling your left knee,” (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu … =255808417)


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#2 2008-07-19 15:42:57

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198
Website

Re: snub out << stub out

Might “snuffing” out a candle or other flame not be involved? Smells like a one-word blend to me. (Not that that makes it not an eggcorn, of course.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#3 2008-07-19 20:34:10

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: snub out << stub out

You will find a number of web pages with candles and lights being “snubbed out.” Might this “snub out” be an eggcorn for “snuff out?” If so, then some instances of snubbing out cigarettes might actually be eggcorns for snuffing out cigarettes instead of eggcorns for stubbing out cigarettes. The word “snub” falls halfway between “snuff” (shares the “sn”) and “stub” (shares the “ub”). Is it possible for an eggcorn to have two parents?


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#4 2008-07-23 12:04:55

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: snub out << stub out

kem wrote:

The word “snub” falls halfway between “snuff” (shares the “sn”) and “stub” (shares the “ub”). Is it possible for an eggcorn to have two parents?

I think so. As David suggests, it seems to be a one-word blend. Clearly, as kem describes, sounds are present from each word. Furthermore, the relevant semantics overlap to such an extent that “snub out” inherits both.

snub out v. [blend of snuff and stub out] to extinguish; to snuff (a candle, etc.), to stub out (a cigar, etc.)

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#5 2017-12-13 22:40:51

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1581

Re: snub out << stub out

Support for the blended origin of snub out, between snuff and stub out, comes from the presence of the converse. About 30 hits.

And then President Obama stuffed out his cigarette and went golfing at noon on a weekday.
http://quoteaddicts.com/tags/cigarette-smoke/7

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