Dear Straight Dope:
I keep running into a word in online chat areas, used to refer to annoying people in the room. The word is "snert." Any idea where it came from?
The word “snert” was coined early in the days of online chats. AOL says that it is “really a disrespectful, dirty word for someone who doesn’t abide by TOS or is otherwise irritating in some way…”
Is it an acronym? These were some responses when the question was put to AOL’s online staff:
Sexually Nerdishly Expressive Recidivistic Trolls
Sexually-frustrated Naive Egotistical Repulsive Twerp
Sexually Needy, Emotionally Repressed Troll
Sexually Nerdish Egotistical Rude Teenager (Note: One does NOT have to be a teenager to be a SNERT, only have the maturity level of a teen.)
Sexually-frustrated, Naive, Egocentric, Repulsive Teen
Snot Nosed Egocentric Retentative Turd
Stupid No good Evil Rotten TOS violator
Students Not Eagerly Receiving Teaching
Snot Nosed Egotistically Rude Teenagers
Sexually Needy, Emotionally Repressed Teenager
Snot Nosed Egotistical Raging Teen
SDSTAFF Lara comments that Snert is the name of Hagar the Horrible’s dog.
My guess is that it is a portmanteau word (Lewis Carrroll Lives!) from “snob,” “snot” and “nerd.” In any case, it is considered really, really insulting and should not be used (except under extreme provocation, requiring two Hail Marys and three Our Fathers for absolution.)
Send questions to Cecil via firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.