Ask Difference

Snigger vs. Snicker — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 20, 2023
Both words mean a suppressed or half-suppressed laugh; "snigger" is more common in British English while "snicker" is more common in American English.
Snigger vs. Snicker — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Snigger and Snicker

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Key Differences

Snigger and Snicker both refer to a short, suppressed laugh, often indicative of amusement or derision. The difference lies primarily in regional usage.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023
In British English, the term Snigger is more prevalent, whereas Snicker is primarily an American English term. However, both words are understood in either region.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023
Historically, Snigger and Snicker have been used interchangeably. Their etymologies are somewhat murky, but they have been present in the language for several centuries, often describing quiet or covert laughter.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023
Both Snigger and Snicker can be used as nouns and verbs. For instance, one might "snigger" or "snicker" at a joke, or one might hear a "snigger" or "snicker" from the back of the room.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023
Contextually, both words can be used in both light-hearted and negative connotations. A Snigger might be seen as more sly or sneaky, while a Snicker might be seen as more playful or cheeky, though this can vary based on the situation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Origin

More commonly British
Primarily American
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Oct 20, 2023

Type of Laugh

Short, suppressed
Short, suppressed
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Oct 20, 2023

Parts of Speech

Noun, Verb
Noun, Verb
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Oct 20, 2023

Connotation

Can be sly or sneaky
Often seen as playful or cheeky
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Oct 20, 2023

Usage in Literature

Found in older British literature
More prevalent in American texts
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Oct 20, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Snigger

A quiet, restrained laugh or chuckle.
She heard a snigger from the back of the classroom.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

A short, suppressed laugh or chuckle.
He let out a snicker when the cat missed its jump.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snigger

A secretive or sly chuckle.
He gave a snigger when he saw the typo.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

A quiet expression of amusement or derision.
There was a snicker among the audience members.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snigger

A laugh expressing ridicule or contempt.
His comment was met with sniggers from the audience.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

A secretive or sly laugh.
I heard a snicker when the teacher's back was turned.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snigger

To laugh in a half-suppressed manner.
I couldn't help but snigger at the scene.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

To utter a partly stifled laugh
"I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker" (T.S. Eliot).
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

A snicker.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

A partly stifled laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

To snicker.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

A stifled or broken laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

A partly suppressed or broken laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

A player who snicks the ball.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

A sly or snide laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

(intransitive) To emit a snicker, a stifled or broken laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

(intransitive) To emit a snigger.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

(transitive) To utter through a laugh of this kind.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

See Snicker.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

(of a horse) To whinny.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

See Snicker.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

To laugh slyly; to laugh in one's sleeve.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

A disrespectful laugh
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

To laugh with audible catches of voice, as when persons attempt to suppress loud laughter.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

Laugh quietly
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

A half suppressed, broken laugh.
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Dec 12, 2018

Snigger

To laugh covertly or quietly.
She tried to snigger discreetly during the speech.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

A disrespectful laugh
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

Laugh quietly
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Dec 12, 2018

Snicker

To laugh in a playful or mischievous manner.
The kids snickered as they played their prank.
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Oct 20, 2023

Snicker

To chuckle especially from amusement or nervousness.
She snickered nervously during the tense scene.
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Oct 20, 2023

Common Curiosities

How is Snicker different from Snigger?

Snicker and Snigger have similar meanings, but Snicker is more common in American English.
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Oct 20, 2023

What does Snigger mean?

Snigger refers to a suppressed or sneaky laugh.
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Oct 20, 2023

Can I use Snigger and Snicker interchangeably?

While their meanings overlap, regional preferences may make one more suitable than the other.
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Oct 20, 2023

Is it rude to Snigger or Snicker at someone?

In many contexts, it can be considered impolite or mocking.
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Oct 20, 2023

Are there any idioms involving Snigger or Snicker?

Not widely recognized ones, but they can appear in various expressions or literary contexts.
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Oct 20, 2023

Is Snigger a noun or verb?

Snigger can be used both as a noun and a verb.
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Oct 20, 2023

Is Snigger more British and Snicker more American?

Yes, Snigger is more common in British English and Snicker in American English.
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Oct 20, 2023

Can both words be used in negative contexts?

Yes, both can indicate derision or mockery.
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Oct 20, 2023

Which word is older, Snigger or Snicker?

Both have been in the language for centuries and their origins are somewhat murky.
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Oct 20, 2023

Is it common to hear Snicker in British literature?

While it's understood, Snigger is more prevalent in British texts.
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Oct 20, 2023

What is the verb form of Snicker?

The verb form is "to snicker," as in "he snickered at the joke."
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Oct 20, 2023

Which word has a more playful connotation, Snigger or Snicker?

Snicker often has a more playful connotation, while Snigger can be seen as more sly or sneaky.
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Oct 20, 2023

Can animals Snigger or Snicker?

While animals don't laugh in the human sense, the terms can be used figuratively to describe similar sounds.
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Oct 20, 2023

How can I use Snigger in a sentence?

"I heard a snigger from the crowd when he tripped."
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Oct 20, 2023

Do Snigger and Snicker have the same etymology?

Their exact etymologies are unclear, but they've both been used for several centuries to describe suppressed laughter.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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