Printable Version
Pronunciation: snæ-zee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (Slangy) Snappy, classy, cool, with-it, stylish, flashy.

Notes: Here is a word that was popular in the 50s and 60s but began fading from use in the 1970s. We could do things back then snazzily and talk about the snazziness of people and things.

In Play: One way to familiarize ourselves with words is to see what kind of company they keep: "Maude Lynn Dresser's entire wardrobe was flashy, trendy and snazzy." She likes to frequent snazzy restaurants and nightclubs, too. "Manly Guy tried every snazzy hair-do in the book, but none seemed to work with girls."

Word History: Today's Good Word is probably a blend of snappy and jazzy, influenced by razzle-dazzle. Blends of this nature usually begin as speech errors, caused by coming up with two words at the same time in rapid conversation. Snappy is, of course, derived from snap, either the noun or the verb; both refer to a short, bright sound or moment. Jazz was originally jasm "energy, drive, spirit", still detectable in the verb, as in "Let's jazz things up a bit." Jasm, the best we can figure, is a variant of jism "semen; vitality". We have no idea where jism came from. Both variants lost the final M since English doesn't like SM or ZM together at the ends of words: jizz and jazz. (Our gratitude is due Albert Skiles for recommending today's snazzy Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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