One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural snibsIrish, Scottish
1A lock, latch, or fastening for a door or window.
fastening, catch, fastenerView synonyms
- ‘No, he entered my home, and once you're in the snib locks, and bad things do happen.’
- 1.1 The small catch on a Yale lock which holds the bolt in or out.
verbsnibbed, snibbing, snibs[with object]Irish, Scottish
Bolt, fasten, or lock (a door)‘he snibbed the door and leaned against it, panting’
bolt, lock, fasten, padlock, secure, latch, deadlock, block, barricade, obstructView synonyms
- ‘It's only ever happened once, and that was only because a visitor snibbed a lock that wasn't meant to be snibbed.’
- ‘I crept into the shared bathroom, snibbed the doors and tried to make as little noise as possible while showering.’
- ‘I got into my room and snibbed the door.’
- ‘Doors were never locked, nor windows ever snibbed and I cannot remember any house being burgled.’
- ‘Once inside the rest room she snibbed the door and turned the tap over the washbasin full on to cover any sound.’
Early 19th century: perhaps from Low German snibbe ‘beaklike point’.
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