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January 21, 2020

Word of the Day: Snaffle

1 CQ

Word of the Day : April 12, 2017

snaffle \SNAFF-ul\ verb


: to obtain especially by devious or irregular means


A malicious code discovered in the computer system was designed to snaffle user names and passwords.

"A quick-thinking and quick-catching baseball player has avoided a potential disaster in the dugout for his team, as he snaffled a bat careering towards his team." — Wide World of Sports (), 3 Mar. 2017

Did You Know?

The origins of snaffle are shrouded in mystery. What we know of its story begins in the 16th century. At that time, snaffle existed as both a noun referring to a simple bit for a horse's bridle and a verb meaning "to fit or equip with a snaffle" or "to restrain or check with or as if with a snaffle." The noun could be from an old German word for "mouth," snavel, but the connection has not been confirmed. The "obtain" meaning of the verb appeared in the early 18th century, and its origins are similarly elusive. Not so mysterious is what happened next to the verb: it developed a meaning of "to steal or rob," at least in British dialects.

Aired April 12, 2017

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