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1520s, "short bit of sarcastic writing, witty scoff," of unknown origin. If the meaning "small firework that burns with a hissing noise" is the original one, the word might be imitative.
A brief, sometimes witty piece of material in a newspaper or magazine, usually a space-filler: A friend of mine, he writes those witty ''squibs''
[1739+; fr squib, ''a small firecracker,'' of unknown origin]