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guttersnipe

[ guht-er-snahyp ]
/ ˈgʌt ərˌsnaɪp /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR guttersnipe ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

a person belonging to or characteristic of the lowest social group in a city.
a street urchin.

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Nearby words

gutter ball, gutter fracture, gutter press, gutter wound, guttering, guttersnipe, guttiform, guttle, guttural, gutturalize, gutturalized

Origin of guttersnipe

First recorded in 1855–60; gutter + snipe
Related formsgut·ter·snip·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for guttersnipe

guttersnipe

/ (ˈɡʌtəˌsnaɪp) /

noun

a child who spends most of his time in the streets, esp in a slum area
a person regarded as having the behaviour, morals, etc, of one brought up in squalor
Derived Formsguttersnipish, adjective

Word Origin for guttersnipe

C19: originally a name applied to the common snipe (the bird), then to a person who gathered refuse from gutters in city streets
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for guttersnipe

guttersnipe


n.

also gutter-snipe, 1857, from gutter (n.) + snipe (n.); originally Wall Street slang for "streetcorner broker," attested later (1869) as "street urchin," also "one who gathers rags and paper from gutters." As a name for the common snipe, it dates from 1874 but is perhaps earlier.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper