a person belonging to or characteristic of the lowest social group in a city.
a street urchin.
Origin of guttersnipe
Related formsgut·ter·snip·ish, adjective
First recorded in 1855–60; gutter
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for guttersnipevagrant
Examples from the Web for guttersnipe
Historical Examples of guttersnipe
He aimed a blow at the guttersnipe's head, but missed it and fell full length.
But I have been taking lessons from every guttersnipe and old good-for-nought in the town.
In one way or the other, the guttersnipe must have his proper prominence.
The Humanitarian Hero had not come into fashion—nor yet the guttersnipe.
But—who in all his life ever before saw a guttersnipe with eyes so lacking in cunning and roguery?
British Dictionary definitions for guttersnipe
Derived Formsguttersnipish, adjective
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
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
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