What is a “snert”?

A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD

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?

CKDextHavn replies:

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 cecil@straightdope.com.

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.

Comment on this Column