Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rip snorter n.

[SE rip + snorter n.2 (3)]

1. (orig. US, also ripstaver) a remarkable or wonderful person or thing of which the speaker approves.

[US]D. Crockett Sketches and Eccentricities 144: In ten minutes he yelled enough, and swore I was a ripstavur [...] Said he, ‘Stranger, you are a beauty’.
Davy Crockett’s Almanack 20/1: Of all the ripsnorters I ever tutched upon, thar never war one that could pull her boat alongside of Grace Peabody [DA].
[UK]Cheshire Obs. 18 Aug. 8/3: [of a telling punch] Harry [...] was systematically stopped by Grasshopper, who gib him a rib-snorter right on his ivory box.
[US]Dodge City Times (Kan.) 12 Apr. 6/4: She was, in reality, a regular ‘rip-snorter’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 18 Dec. 3/3: ‘I’m a roarin’ ripsnorter from a hoorah camp, and I can’t be stepped on [...] Give me some of your meanest whiskey and whole lot of it, somethin’ that tastes like bumble-bee stings pickled in vitriol’.
[US]Morning Times (Wash., DC) 14 Dec. 8/3: [advt] A Genuine ‘Ripsnorter’.
[US]J.W. Davis Gawktown Revival Club 22: Will Deacon Ripsnorter encourage the young converts.
[US]Wash. Times (Wash., DC) 19 June 10/3: A tar swatted a rip-snorter to left. The sailors claimed that it was fully ten feet.
[US] ‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 20: snorter, n. An unusually good one. ‘You better come to the dance to-night; it’s going to be a rip-snorter’.
[Aus]Brisbane Courier 29 May 6/3: ‘Bobby dazzler,’ ‘ripsnorter,’ and ‘ringtailed snorter’ [...] have been replaced [...] by the universal use of ‘boshter’.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 13: I’ve driven real coaches, sixteen horses, rip-snorters, and all that sort of thing.
[US]Tacoma Times (Wash.) 26 Sept. 2/4: Do you know who I am? I’m Ripsnorter Rufus from Cayenne Gulch!
[US]D. Runyon ‘A Tale of two Fists’ XVII in Pittsburgh Press (PA) 20 May 30/3: Christian might indeed be the rip-snorter he was reputed to be.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 18 Aug. 18/2: Seated in the tomb of Rip-Snort McGinnis.
[US]Eve. World (NY) 10 Dec. 12/6: Three cowboys [...] all of whom have heard tell that Will ios a reg’lar rip-snorter in New York.
[US]M. Sandoz ‘Sandhill Sundays’ in Botkin Folk-Say 301: For the women there is that old rip-snorter, a wagon race.
[US]W. Blair Tall Tale America 177: ‘Say,’ Paul said, ‘you’re a ripsnorter. You’ve got a musical screech; you’re smart; you’re strong.’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 8: He was a rip-snorter.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 17: Did it with that friend of yours in his rip-snorter, did ya?
[Aus]R.G. Barratt ‘What Are You Laughing At?’ in What Do You Reckon (1997) [ebook] I’ve told jokes I thought were rip-snorters and they’ve gone over like a bomb in an air-raid shelter.

2. a very loud noise.

[US]Burlington Free Press (VT) 24 Feb. 1/5: [of a gun][ Sometimes she gives two little short barks [...] sometimes she gives a regular rip-snorter — (bang! thundered the gun) like that!

3. a very loud breaking of wind.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 979/1: since late 1940s.