• synonyms


or shnor·rer

[shnawr-er, shnohr-]
noun Slang.
  1. a person who habitually borrows or lives at the expense of others with no intention of repaying; sponger; moocher; beggar.
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Origin of schnorrer

1890–95; < Yiddish shnorer beggar, sponger, equivalent to shnor(n) to beg (compare Middle High German snurren to hum, buzz, whir; sense “beg” from beggars' custom of playing a small pipe or whistle (German Schnurrpfeife)) + -er -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for schnorrer

Historical Examples

  • And from such companionship to have fallen to a Schnorrer's!

    Dreamers of the Ghetto

    I. Zangwill

  • And so you run away from the Home and married this Schnorrer?

  • The nearer the departure of the Schnorrer, the higher his spirits rose.

    The King of Schnorrers

    Israel Zangwill

  • Grobstock would have followed him, but the Schnorrer waved him back.

    The King of Schnorrers

    Israel Zangwill

  • "For your own diversion," retorted the Schnorrer implacably.

    The King of Schnorrers

    Israel Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for schnorrer


  1. US slang a person who lives off the charity of others; professional beggar
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Word Origin

Yiddish, from German Schnurrer beggar (who played an instrument), from Middle High German snurren to hum
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 schnorrer


1892, from Yiddish, "beggar," from German slang schnurrer, from schnurren "to go begging" (slang), perhaps ultimately imitative of the sound of pleading or whining (e.g. sneer, snorkel, snarl).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper