to "niff"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Sep 7 14:55:37 UTC 2007

I am (somehow!) reminded of the old joke about Norton Smith, who--walking home after a night of imbibery--took a shortcut across a pasture. He kept hearing someone calling him: "Nort, nort!" Just when he had decided he was imagining things, he got gored to death by a harelipped bull.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 17:15:19 -0700
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject: to "niff"
>Latest OED online has this British v. as "to sniff" from 1952. Here's one considerably earlier:
>  1930 C. R. Benstead _Retreat_ (N.Y.: Century) 124 [ref. to 1918]: Like an ol' bull when e' [sic] niffs a bit o' cow.
>  JL

The American Dialect Society -

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