Sniggling – When Words Aren’t Stationary

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sniggling – expression of mirth combining sniggers and giggles, much in the manner of Muttley from Wacky Races. Sniggling is frequently encountered when the source of mirth is in some way inappropriate

Sometimes you have those moments of wondering how on earth you got by for so incredibly long without knowing about something. Salted caramel for instance. Or TiVo. Or how easy it is to make your own pizza dough. And sometimes that something’s not a thing, but a word.

Smiggle (not to be confused with sniggle sells brightly coloured stationery – it’s not as sophisticated as Kikki K, or as quirky as Typo, but it’s cute and colourful, and perhaps for more suited to a younger market. But all those times I walked part (or into) Smiggle at a shopping centre... I never thought of sniglets.

Smiggle blue box

Smiggle elephant bookend

Smiggle blue light
Pictures: box, bookends and light all from Smiggle

Sniglets, I’ve only just discovered, are words that should exist but don’t. All this time, I’ve been having them without knowing what they were. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

But if you’re going to have a word for something that should exist but doesn’t, there’s a lot of pressure on that very word itself to be perfect. A shining light of a word that doesn’t exist, the holy grail for all those little sniglets to aspire to grow up into. And the trouble with sniglets is that the word’s actually so good that it suits so many other uses...
- Sniffling piglets
- Sneaky little people – like sproglets, but a bit more Machiavellian (your average two year old, then)
- Ends of sausages – like giblets, but far, far tastier and less squeamish
- Putting your singlet on back to front – this is definitely my favourite (meaning that is. When it actually happens, it’s just a nuisance)
- And, of course, the furtive laughter mentioned at the beginning

The other problem with sniglets is that they’re just a bit too much like Twiglets. Thinking up new non-existent words works up quite an appetite already – thinking about Twiglets only makes that worse!

Twiglets... yum!
Picture: via the Cornell Sun (which just doesn't get Twiglets)... for the other side of the argument, there's A Whole Lot Of Crunch...

So, what do you think a sniglet should be?

Karena on December 11, 2010 at 5:02 AM

I would say a snigglet is just a bit of something, it could be anything!

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Art by Karena

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