from The Century Dictionary.

  • To latch or shut (a door or lid).
  • noun The latch or catch of a door or lid.
  • noun A piece of land jutting into an adjoining field, or intersecting it.
  • To snatch.
  • noun A snap; a click.
  • A Scotch form of snick.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Scot. & Prov. Eng. A door latch.
  • noun a latchstring.
  • noun a latch lifter; a bolt drawer; hence, a sly person; a cozener; a cheat; -- called also sneckdraw.
  • noun lifting the latch.
  • transitive verb Scot. & Prov. Eng. To fasten by a hatch; to latch, as a door.
  • transitive verb be silent; shut up; hold your peace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Northern England, Scotland A latch or catch.
  • noun Northern England, Scotland The nose.
  • noun A cut.
  • verb transitive To latch, to lock.
  • verb transitive To cut.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • 'sneck' of 'Brownie's' den and tried to lift it without noise.

    Border Ghost Stories

  • In the morning Beatrice was disturbed by the sharp sneck of the hall door.

    The Trespasser

  • Cyril Nutkin stepped forward and slipped one key into the dead bolt and a Yale key into the lock, murmured the incantation, "Hope she hasn't dropped the sneck," and turned the keys.

    Bottled Spider

  • Their kisses just sound leyke the sneck ov a yeat;

    The Bleckell Murrymeet (Merry Night)

  • Instead, he had carefully jammed the sneck of the study door so it would sit slightly ajar and had stationed himself in the disused alcove down the hall, listening for the steps of the four men as they passed.

    The Silicon Mage

  • "A pot of scalding water and a servant wench at that back-window we came in by would be a good sneck against all that think of coming after us," said John Splendid, stepping into the passage where we had met Mistress

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • Perhaps I might be able to discern somewhat through the aperture above the pin of the 'sneck.'

    Border Ghost Stories

  • Some anglers are partial to the Kirby bend, but perhaps you get better hold of your fish with the sneck bend hooks.

    The Teesdale Angler

  • "You are on the right tack," says he, "for I am waiting for his hand on the sneck any time this two hours past," and the dishes were hardly cleared away when the smuggler bent his head to be coming in the door, for in these days there were no locks in the Isle of the Peaks.

    The McBrides A Romance of Arran

  • I was busy at a cold partridge, and hard at it, when I thought again how curious it was that my father should be a-foot in the house at such time of night and no one else about, he so early a bedder for ordinary and never the last to sneck the outer door.

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn


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  • A small stone inserted into the spaces between larger pieces of rubble in a wall. Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, found via Roy Blount Jr.'s Alphabet Juice

    December 30, 2008

  • Also a Northern and Scottish dialectal word for a door latch. Commemorated in the exquisite Sneck Lifter ale from Jennings Brewery. A sneck lifter was a man's last sixpence; with it he could lift the sneck of the pub, buy one drink, and hope his friends would treat him to more.

    December 30, 2008

  • Jennings Brewery describes a "sneck lifter" (as in the name of one of their ales, Sneck Lifter Strong Ale) as "a man's last sixpence with which he would lift the latch of the pub door and buy himself a pint, hoping to meet friends there who might treat him to one or two more." As the brewery is in northern England, I theorize that this idiom is particular to northern dialects.

    October 22, 2009