snub » snob

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • This pedal is real value for money. I snobbed it at first because it didn’t have the BOSS or Digitech label on it. I almost put this on eBay because I thought I don’t have any use for it. I’m glad I didn’t. (Harmony Central, Aug 03, 2005)
  • The Weavers have spent the entire episode annoying other teams, including snobbing the Aiellos and irritating the Schroeders enough to earn the nickname “Silent but Deadly.” (the Trades, October 15, 2005)
  • “A person happened to meet somebody whom he previously had a bad encounter. The person cheerfully greeted the person good morning, which the other person promptly snobbed him. His friend asked him, “Don’t you feel slighted that you were snobbed? Then why do you continue to greet him knowing that he has done you wrong and would snob you anyway?” (Reflections of a Business-Driven Life, quote in blog entry, December 21, 2004)
  • He snobbed me on AIM when I just IM’d him a simple “Aloha!” (link)

Given that _snub_ v. tr. means something close to _behaving like a snob towards (so. or sth.)_, it is certainly not surprising to find a verb _snob_ where traditionally _snub_ would be expected. What I did find surprising was the sheer versatility of _snob_, the verb.

First of all we find some expected formations which are directly derived from the noun _snob_ and don’t have anything eggcorn-like to them — _out-snob so._, _snob sth. up_ (and _snobbed up_ adj., along with _snobbed out_ adj.) and _de-snob_ :

* Wilson responded by “out-snobbing the snobs,” as his arts minister, Jennie Lee, later put it. (link)
* Typically this crowd drank either grungy beer (like Rolling Rock) or snobbed it up with super premium vodka. (link)
* To be cool! To be part of the snobbed up group! (link)
* The advice was to more or less be ’snobbed out.’ Being snobbed out is not just a materialistic way of life, but an attitude. My best friend, Gulia, who is from Russia, has it down perfect: Ignore those not on your level, watch the company you keep and never argue with anyone about anything, just move forward. Be ’snobbed out.’ (link)
* I started to de-snob along with Amanda at MouseWords (nominated for best new blog at Wampum), but I’m finding that I’m not hip enough to answer two of the questions so I’m going to put my own in as replacements. (link)

Then there is the strange _snob the shit/hell out of sth./so._, which can have several meanings. The second cite, in the sense “behave like a snob”, quotes the parlance of sheep shearers in Australia:

* We love any operation that makes cooking and food accessible to people, as opposed to tarting and snobbing the shit out of it, defeating the purpose of food and eating in the first place. (link)
* Good pen mates will share the sheep and work together as a team but as Rod explains […] if you draw a ‘Hungry’ pen mate and he ‘snobs you’ (goes to the back of the pen and picks all the best sheep) your count for the day could be severely affected, or you’d have to work your guts out to give him the same medicine to stop him from ‘snobbing the hell out of you’! (link)

The _resemble/act like a snob_ sense, or something close to it, comes in a number of variations, some of which might be influenced by _snub_; used transitively, intransitively or with a required prepositional complement, we find _snob so. off_, _snob so. away_, _snob it_, _snob so. into sth._ and _snob at sth._:

* The guitar, being such an easy instrument to learn (not play well, but at least learn a few basic chords and songs), became very popular within the masses. Especially in South America where it immediately became a hit. In Europe and North America, though, it was snobbed at. (link)
* They are trying to snob us into thier camp, and I don’t like being snobbed into anything since I don’t realize I’m being snobbed until it’s too late. Snobbery is the subtlest form of proselytizing and I often am caught in its snares. (link)
* And, much to his credit, his finely tuned ear for opera had not snobbed him into aesthetic hysteria. (link)
* So, instead of just snobbing it on the beach I stayed out and played around, working on fast tacks, heli-tacks, nose jibes, pivot duck and normal jibes, etc. (link)
* Remembrance of That Time I Got Hammered and Wore a Lampshade at a High School Party and For the First Time Everyone Thought I was Cool, Including Stacy Vaughn Who was Checking Me Out and Said “What’s Up?” and I Said “Pfff, Whatever” and totally, like, Snobbed her off. She’s Such a Bitch. (link)
* But all I can say,
Since you snobbed me away,
Is how I feel cheaper than a dime.

* And it’s gonna come down to it after a couple of months where he’s gonna have to wrestle one of these
local guys and these guys are gonna be mad at him because for months he’s been snobbing him off.

And that’s not quite all. In the blendoid department, there’s the expression _snob one’s nose at sth_: a mixutre of _snob_ n., _snub_ v. and the idiom _turn up one’s nose at sth._, with _snub-nosed_ adj. influencing the formation. This is how I came across this eggcorn. Yesterday on the IRC channel `#joiito` on ``, Dan Lurie claimed that Karl Marx would “probably snob his nose at” blogs. (I am quoting from memory because I neglected to log the conversation.) Dan isn’t alone with this usage:

* And, thus snobbing his nose at his detractors, and pulling a political rather than a humanitarian move he granted clemencey, where it was due, and morphed death sentences into life terms. (link)
* We were told that we were supposed to witness to people but how do you snob your nose at “sinners” and witness at the same time? (link)

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/10/29 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Arnold Zwicky , 2006/03/21 at 7:37 pm

    Also in the blendoid department, there’s the intermediate blend “snub one’s nose at”, as reported by Mark Mandel on ADS-L, 18 January 2006: “…who has snubbed his nose at the Establishment” (NPR news 2006-01-18).

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