[Ads-l] "snupper" - derivation and definition?

Charles C Rice charles.rice at LOUISIANA.EDU
Sun Jan 9 15:25:03 EST 2022


I like the idea that someone who published a book in 1927 might be on Twitter. FWIW, I've been to quite a few estate sales in the New Orleans area and never seen or heard of a "snupper."

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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Nancy Friedman
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Subject: "snupper" - derivation and definition?

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I came across "junk snupper" in Lizzie Feidelson's New Yorker article about estate sales, published online January 7, 2022:
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-and-off-the-avenue/the-wild-wonderful-world-of-estate-sales

I haven't been able to find a relevant definition or derivation for "snupper" in any of the dictionaries at my disposal. (Urban Dictionary has a fanciful entry for snupper = "snack" + "supper.") I did find a 1927 book, "The Junk Snupper: The Adventures of an Antique Collector," but the online excerpt wasn't very helpful. I've queried the author via tweet but haven't had a response.

"Snatcher-upper," maybe?

From the New Yorker article:

In her book “Out of the Attic: Inventing Antiques in Twentieth-Century New
> England
> <https://www.amazon.com/Out-Attic-Twentieth-Century-Historical-Perspective/dp/1558497102?ots=1&slotNum=0&imprToken=f6bf2005-8525-1d6a-bf2&tag=thneyo0f-20&linkCode=w50>,”
> the social historian Briann Greenfield describes how, at the beginning 
> of the twentieth century, when the value of antiques began to rise, a 
> middle-class cadre of enterprising “junk snuppers” began departing in 
> cars from urban centers to the countryside, where they knocked on 
> farmhouse doors and kindly offered to relieve inhabitants of any 
> mint-condition Americana. She cites a 1907 antiquing guide called “The 
> Quest of the Colonial,” which advises junk snuppers to identify 
> possible marks by looking for “the sight of chairs on a porch.”
>

Nancy Friedman
Chief Wordworker
www.wordworking.com
http://nancyfriedman.typepad.com
Medium <https://medium.com/@wordworking>

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