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or shnorrer

[shnawr-er, shnohr-] /ˈʃnɔr ər, ˈʃnoʊr-/
noun, Slang.
a person who habitually borrows or lives at the expense of others with no intention of repaying; sponger; moocher; beggar.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for schnorrer
Historical Examples
  • "That schnorrer ain't got money enough to stock a pushcart, let alone a restaurant," he jeered.

    The Competitive Nephew Montague Glass
  • And from such companionship to have fallen to a schnorrer's!

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

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • And so you run away from the Home and married this schnorrer?

    The Competitive Nephew Montague Glass
  • Sooner as stay in the old country and be a schnorrer all your life, you come over here, ain't it?

    Abe and Mawruss Montague Glass
  • When he begged alone, all the glib formulæ he had learnt from the schnorrer dried up on his tongue.

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

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • Through all the clouds of his own confusion and the recipient's anger, the figure of a schnorrer loomed too plain for mistake.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • The schnorrer turned, and then Grobstock found he was mistaken in imagining he preferred to face da Costa.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • The schnorrer's tirade was long enough to allow Grobstock to recover his dignity and his breath.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for schnorrer


(US, slang) a person who lives off the charity of others; professional beggar
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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for schnorrer



  1. A beggar, esp one who counts parasitically on a family or community; moocher, sponge: ''Hooray for Captain Spaulding, the African explorer!'' ''Did someone call me schnorrer?'' (1892+)
  2. A person who habitually haggles; niggard

[fr Yiddish shnorrer]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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