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  • says:

    "A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English


    . A further var. of prec"

    - which I think must refer to the previous term in the dictionary, which is "whister-clister." Of this, says:


    , -snefet, -snivet. A cuff on the ear or the side of the head: resp. late C.18–mid-19 (Grose, 1st ed.), then dial.; C.16 (Udall); C.16 (Palsgrave: OED). Perhaps a reduplication of whister, that which ‘whists’ or puts to silence; even so, -clister may pun clyster, an enema, while -snefet, -snivet may be cognate with the vv.

    snite snivel. Perhaps orig. dial., as the Palsgrave locus indicates; certainly dial. are the variants whisterpoop (C.17–20), whistersniff (C.19–20), and whister-twister—which last (C.18–19) is certainly a punning reduplication. See also wisty-castor."

    August 6, 2011

  • "For answer she went and kissed him.

    "Well, that's better than a whisticaster in the rattlers," he said.

    "A what?"

    "A smack in the gob. Good idea, then, is it?"

    The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman, p 206 of the Knopf paperback edition

    August 6, 2011