Green’s Dictionary of Slang

snide adj.

also schnide, shneid, shnide, snidy, snidey, snyde, snydey
[snide n.]

1. fake.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum 83: snide stuff Bad money.
[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ in Temple Bar Mag. Nov. 534: You start in the morning with a good sovereign and a ‘snyde’ half-sovereign in your pocket […] You change your mind after you have ‘rung’ your snyde half ‘quid’ with the good one. [...] You can get snyde jewelry made to look the same as the real stuff. [Ibid.] 538: Snyde, you know, means counterfeit or bad, anything bad we call snydey.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 299: Snide bad, spurious, contemptible. As, ‘a SNIDE fellow,’ ‘SNIDE coin,’ &c.
Decatur Dly Republican (IL) 29 May 6/1: The simpleton never saw London or the Queen [...] his pretensions are al snide.
[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 193: I [...] let an old flop-eared Jew take me in to the extent of a hundred dollars for a lot of snide jewelry.
[US]H. Frederic Seth’s Brother’s Wife 107: You just everlastingly gave it to that snide show to-night [...] The sooner those fakirs understand that they can’t play Tecumseh people for chumps, the better.
[UK]Sporting Times 29 Mar. 6/4: The watch being a gilded Waterbury, and the chain snide, I did not feel my loss so acutely as I should have done had they been of greater value.
[US]J. London ‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in High School Aegis X 15 Feb. 2–3: I took [the locket] ter see wot it wuz like, an’ if it wuz snide.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 52: Unfortunately, in their haste they shed the snide tickets on the way.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 8: Me and ’im was making snide coin.
[UK]Sporting Times 10 Mar. 1/4: The wealth of the former was only his gas, / And Mabella’s gold pieces were snide.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 1 Dec. 1/1: Some of the beer sold hereabouts is still of the hog-wash variety [...] half-a-dozen customers were last week prostrated by a snide snifter.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 26 July 1/1: [headline] Snide Auctioneers. Of sharks and sharkings in Sydney there seems no end, and one of latest snide affairs [...] is that of ‘shypoo’ auctionaeers.
[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 285: Have you seen the necklace, dearie? [...] if it’s snide the Watsons don’t need it.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 10 Dec. 95/2: The jaundiced critic who says it’s snide is a carping nark and a base ingrate.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 June 21/2: I sold the snide watch and chain to a bush jockey for two quid.
[Aus]H. Drake-Brockman Blister Act I: What if he won’t buy pearls snide or steal another chap’s divers?
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 199: In the counterfeit rackets, the making of snide coins and base notes.
[UK]P. Beveridge Inside the C.I.D. 200: Snide Counterfeit.
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Nuffink but a load of schnide punters and tuppenny ’apenny whores without a pot between them.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[UK]V. McDarmid Star Struck (1999) 134: The Kellys [...] stuck to the old ways. Protection rackets and schneid sports gear, long firm frauds.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 13: Elvis and I stand dixie at the door while Kev the Man empties the fruit machine with snide ten-bobs.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 17: Rent a decent sized motor on a passable snide US license.

2. second-rate, useless.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 67/2: It was a small sum considering, but Joe said, ‘’twur a great syght better’n selling “snyde” cigars and rotten tobacco’.
[US]B. Hogan Life and Adventures of Ben Hogan n.p.: Some of the sporting papers talked of this as a ‘snide’ affair, and refused to give either of the men credit for the battle.
[US]S.A. Mackeever Glimpses of Gotham and City Characters 14/1: We find a few ladies and gentlemen, some of whom have been singing ‘Pinafore’ at a ‘shneid’ theatre on the Saturday night, furnishing a variety of fancy music.
[US]Lantern (New Orleans, LA) 9 Apr. 2: Who runs dat snide hash house.
[UK]A. Binstead Gal’s Gossip 78: He [...] gets a precarious living soliciting orders for a snide firm of photographers.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 25 Sept. 3/2: When I’m horse from yellin’ bottle oh! / And business is snide .
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 180: ’Tain’t ther liquor wot’s snide, it’s ther dead hookity hides what it gets chuted into.
[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Private Agitator’ in Ade’s Fables 12: A Fairy Wand had been waved above the snide Bungalow, and it was now a Queen Anne Chateau.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 62: This is a pretty snide jungle [...] no cans.
[UK](con. mid-1960s) J. Patrick Glasgow Gang Observed 235: Snide – ‘snide gear’, i.e., clothes that are out of fashion, contemptible, inferior.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 147: Something or someone referred to as snide was false or worthless.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 81: He was selling snide perfume out of a suitcase in Catford market.

3. unpleasant, mean, sneering.

[US]Chicago Sporting Gazette 4 Aug. n.p.: There is a lot of snide young tid-bits at 376 State Street.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 9 May 22/3: I consider this meeting not a meeting of men – (‘Lay in, Pikey!’ and laughter) – but a meeting of nineteeners – (uproar) – and the snidest and ugliest nineteener in all this snide and ugly meeting – (uproar) – is – is – the party with the entrails – (laughter) – in the chair.
[UK]S.O. Addy Sheffield Gloss. (Supp.) 54: Snidy, mean, selfish.
[UK]Reynolds’s Newspaper 8 Jan. 2/6: Black Alice [...] Snidey Dickson, and half a dozen others.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 277: Utica [...] is sort of a snide place this time of year. You see, the hop-pickers are around there, and the police always arrest a lot of ’em, and you fellows are likely to be jugged too.
[US]Number 1500 Life In Sing Sing 253: Snide. Mean.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 12 Jan. 11/4: Girls is sold away to people / Who are snide, I must confess.
[US] in Havana Eve. Telegram 21 Sept. 2/3: When I was a kid in New York and Philadelphia and those spurious gem merchants made the rounds showing a piece of junk — we always said: ‘Aw, that’s a Forney!’ Our snide way of saying it was cheap, false and counterfeit.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Dog Collared’ in Popular Detective Oct. [Internet] A snide-looking citizen happened to come in the house of detention.
[US]J.D. MacDonald All These Condemned (2001) 61: It was an article on Wilma [...] It was one of those snide jobs [...] Nothing libelous, but very, very tongue in cheek.
[UK]F. Norman Stand on Me 22: He flogged this picture to some shnide art dealer.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 63: The real reason these geezers gave me a kicking was not because I had said some shnide remarks.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 46: And I am not being snide about it.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Alvarez’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1980) in Huncke Reader (1998) 196: We yelled and argued; snide remarks, sarcasm, hate, general shit.
[US]Boston Globe (MA) 25 May 63/2: Lambeer said you said some snidey things to him.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 214: A snide reference to the fifty-seven varieties it’s supposed to contain.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 31: How can you call him snide in this game? Everyone’s snide in this game.
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 6: They’re all nudges and snidey little in-comments.

4. smart, aware; thus snideness [a positive use that implies the ‘clever’ aspects of fakery]

[UK] ‘’Arry on the Elections’ in Punch 12 Dec. 277/2: If you think my snide patter will help you, wire up, and I’ll jest toddle down.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Sincerest Form of Flattery’ in Punch 20 Sept. 144/2: ’Tisn’t grammar and spelling makes patter, nor yet snips and snaps of snide talk.
[UK]D. Stewart Vultures of the City in Illus. Police News 15 Dec. 12/1: He’s snide. Bill—too much the old soldier he is for me.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 113: The tracker [...] was still pumping out its snide signal in spite of being apparently deaded.

5. corrupt; ‘fixed’.

[UK]A. Mursell Shady Pastorals n.p.: Sometimes the police will help the thieves by getting snide witnesses... who will swear anything according to instructions [F&H].
[Aus]‘G.G.’ Sporting Sketches in Sportsman (Melbourne) (18/10/1898) 5/8: ‘He stood up [...] to make a snide book on the furst race with no brass at all in his kicksy’.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 19 Dec. 11/1: The pastures of a distant land seem greenest and most desirable to the snide bookmakers holding a deal of other people's money.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 26 July 1/1: [headline] Snide Auctioneers. Of sharks and sharkings in Sydney there seems no end.
[UK]D. Stewart Shadows of the Night in Illus. Police News 3 Aug. 12/3: ‘I knowed he were on some snide game’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 July 1/1: One of them is the keeper of a semi-snide hashery.
[UK]D. Stewart Dead Man’s Gold in Illus. Police News 10 Apr. 12/2: We saw by your features that you were snidey.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 25 June 8/8: They played poker for cigars, sir, / On a snide machine, and so / Which did never win them nothin.
[UK]C. MacInnes City of Spades (1964) 228: He told you I was a snide lawyer, I suppose?
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 36: Got the market fuckin covered, the snidey cunt!

6. deemed to have contravened rules.

[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 399: Mr Schneid, who had been summoned before the Stewards of various Meetings time without number.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Jul. 26/4: The committee can declare the match ‘snide,’ and scatter the prize amongst the hospitals if not satisfied that the lanky black and his more lumpy opponent have done their darnedest.

7. amoral, wicked.

[UK]D. Stewart Tragedy of the White House in Illus. Police News 10 Sept. 12/1: ‘Blustering Bill [...] is snide (bad) to the core and if ever a man deserved to be scragged he does’.

In derivatives

snideness (n.)

1. astuteness, awareness, mental acuity.

[UK] ‘’Arry on ’onesty’ in Punch 31 Jan. 60/1: I’m a sort of hapostle, they tell me, of snideness and taste for wot’s wot.

2. sneering, condecension.

Longview News-Jrnl (TX) 14 Jan. 4/7: Of course these [...] fellows have nothing to do with such snideness.
[US]Star Press (Muncie, IN) 9 May 25/3: No Arrogance, No Snideness.
De Moines Register (IA) 8 Mar. 19/3: I want it to be critical but with gusto, not snideness.
[US]Asbury Park Press (NJ) 14 Aug. E7/4: ‘[A] sort of snideness that’s creeping into some shows’.
Palm Beach Post (FL) 22 Mar. D017/1: [A] book claiming that abusive snideness has caused everything from the demise of journalism to Al Gore’s failed 2000 election.
[US]Akron Beacon Jrnl (OH) 15 Feb. A013/1: The inevitable creep from sarcasm to snideness.
snidey (adj.)

1. counterfeit.

[UK]Worcs. Chron. 13 Mar. Supp. 2/1: I asked the man not in custody, whether he had got rid of the things [i.e. stolen cutlery]? He said, No; they were snidey. That means they were not good.
[UK]W. Newton Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 15: He [...] pulls out a ‘snidey’ piece and asks for change.

2. bad, unfavourable.

Athletic News (Manchester) 20 Sept. 3/2: If a fellow owes you a bob and takes it Into his head to send it to you, you are a snidey member if you don’t send him a post card telling him you have got it.
[UK]Birmingham Dly Post 31 Mar. 3/5: I append a few cant words and expressions for those who take an interest in the subject [...] snidey (bad).
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1103/1: from ca.1870.

3. sneering, supercilious.

[UK]R. Hewitt White Talk Black Talk 40: He made snidey little remarks, piss-taking.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 74: We are paid to do a job we can’t fucking well do because of all these snidey little cunts: the politicians, lawyers, judges [...] and their ilk.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 186: Yeh snidey bastard.
Dispatch (Moline, IL) 11 Sept. 14/3: The adjective ‘snide’ [...] the adverb ‘snidey’ [and] the noun ‘snideness.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 270: Before ye start making any mair snidey comments aboot people, ah’d better lit ye ken that we jist goat engaged.
snidy (adj.)

unpleasant, menacing.

[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 183: The silencer looks snidy, chunky, with old-school black electrical tape wrapped round and round it.

In compounds

snidebox (n.)

(US Und.) an easily opened safe.

[US] ‘Und. and Its Vernacular’ in Clues mag. 158–62: snidebox Safe that can be opened with little effort.
snide ’un (n.)

one who is smart, aware, ‘fly’.

[UK]Sl. Dict. 299: Snide Also used as a substantive, as, ‘He’s a snide,’ though this seems but a contraction of SNIDE ’UN.
[UK] ‘’Arry on His Critics and Champions’ in Punch 14 Apr. 180/1: We snide ’uns are birds of a feather, and wide-oh at spotting the net.