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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Snuff Sed
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0754  Tuesday, 11 April 2000.

From:           Tom Reedy <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Apr 2000 11:58:13 -0500
Subject: 11.0745 Snuff Sed
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0745 Snuff Sed

John Savage <
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> Tom Reedy claims that Shakespeare does indeed mention tobacco.  "In 1.3
> of 1H4 Hotspur complains of a snuff-taking messenger: '...And twixt his
> finger and his thumb he held a pouncet-box, which ever and anon he gave
> his nose and took't away again; who therewith angry, when it next came
> there, took it in snuff.'"
>
> But he is not a "snuff-taking messenger," and the word "snuff" in the
> passage doesn't refer to tobacco.

You're right, John.  The term as used here means to take offense at.
The OED quotes Pepys' diary as an example: "Mr. Mills . . , I expect,
should take it in snuffe that my wife did not come to his child's
christening the other day."

My apologies to Werner Br

 

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