- a low, vulgar, or affected person. Supposed to be from the nickname usually applied to a cobbler or maker of shoes; but believed by many in its later sense to be a contraction of the _Latin_, SINE OBOLO. Others go to work for an etymology thus:—They assume that NOBS, _i.e._, _nobiles_, was appended in lists to the names of persons of gentle birth, whilst those who had not that distinction were marked down as S NOB, _i.e._, _sine nobilitate_, without marks of gentility,—thus, by a simple transposition, quite reversing the meaning. Others, again, remark that, as at college sons of noblemen wrote after their names in the admission lists, _fil. nob._, son of a lord, and hence all young noblemen were called NOBS, and what they did NOBBY, so those who imitated them would be called _quasi-nobs_, “like a nob,” which by a process of contraction would be shortened to _si-nob_, and then SNOB, one who pretends to be what he is not, and apes his betters. The short and expressive terms which many think fitly represent the three great estates of the realm—NOB, SNOB, and MOB—were all originally slang words. The last has safely passed through the vulgar ordeal of the streets, and found respectable quarters in the standard dictionaries. For fuller particulars of the genus SNOB, in all its ramifications, the reader cannot do better than apply to the general works of that great master of the subject, William Makepeace Thackeray, though it may be as well to remark that the SNOB for whom the novelist had such an aversion is now very widely known as “cad.”
More About snobPosition in the dictionary: 3288 of 4022 slang words.
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