One popular explanation of the origins of the term snob is that it is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “sine nobilitate”, meaning without nobility. It is said that “s. nob” was used to list people from outside of the ruling classes at important social events in 19th Century Britain. Writer William Makepeace Thackeray attempted to define the issue of what constitutes a snob when he wrote: “He who meanly admires mean things is a snob.” In modern times, the term snob is used to describe people who believe their own taste, intelligence and education is superior to that of others. This slideshow will give you 10 tips on how to spot a snob.
Getty Premium images
Snobs are socially pretentious people who have very particular tastes. They are attentive to the latest trends in fashion, art, food, travel, technology and cars and they will always aspire to own or enjoy luxury items. Such obsessions lead them to believe that they are living refined lifestyles and they look down their noses at people who they judge to have inferior interests.
Related: The world's most expensive cities
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The finer things in life
Snobs love to be seen in exclusive locations or attending sophisticated cultural events. For example, they love to be seen eating at exclusive restaurants, where they will undoubtedly order one of the most expensive wines from the cellar. Snobs will also look to other cultures to help set them apart from the plebs. Indeed, they enjoy nothing better than sampling exotic dishes that nobody outside of their little clique will have heard of.
Related: Most expensive cuts of meat
Topics of conversation
Most snobs like to demonstrate that they are people of great learning and education. They will start conversations with the aim of letting everyone know they possess tastes and habits that differ from the ordinary man on the street. Indeed, snobs have a deep need to be heard as they are often insecure. This insecurity also leads to them attacking those who think differently to them.
Related: How to deal with snobs
Snobs will look down their noses at you if they believe you are of a lower social standing. However, they will go to great lengths to ingratiate themselves with people they judge to be of a higher class and this can even manifest itself in sycophant behaviour. Snobs admire people who have prestigious occupations and they will often feel the need to prove that they have the economic means to lead a life of expensive tastes.
Getty Premium images
Embarrassing friends or relatives
Just like the fictional character Hyacinth Bucket in the television sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances,” many snobs have family members or friends of lower standing that they would rather keep hidden away so as not to give away their own rather less-than-refined roots. Snobs can be greatly embarrassed by certain relatives or friends who express themselves in public in vulgar or common ways. Given the choice, a snob will always look to surround themselves with people who can enhance their reputation.
Christopher Robbins/Stockbyte/Getty Images
It goes without saying that a snob will never travel by public transport. Any snob worth their salt will aspire to own an expensive car and their ultimate goal will be to travel by yacht, helicopter or private jet. A snob’s mode of transport will also be kitted out with the latest technological and entertainment devices.
A true snob will not pay much attention to popular sports such as football as they will look to participate in activities that place them above the masses. For this reason, snobs are attracted to sports that require expensive equipment or membership of a club, such as polo, golf or even tennis. One advantage of participating in such elite activities is that the snob will be able to surround themselves with people of high purchasing power and gain valuable contacts to help them climb the social ladder.
Related: Polo Horse Rules
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Snobs have many difficult decisions to make in regards to choosing the right institutions with which to associate themselves with. Young snobs will look to place themselves in a university that will give them useful friends and contacts later in life. As we have already seen, snobs also look to climb the social ladder by joining exclusive sporting clubs and they also need to make good choices when it comes to social institutions. Snobs who have children will also obsess about which school to send them to from the moment they are born.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Among the issues that concern snobs is the question of surnames. Having a common or vulgar sounding last name could be seen a drawback in certain social circles. For this reason, snobs see marriage as the perfect chance to give themselves the extra gravitas that a double-barrelled surname brings. After all, checking into a hotel under the name of Parker-Brown sounds a lot more important than a simple Brown or Parker.
Related: Most unfortunate surnames
Snobs try to avoid words or phrases that have become associated with the working classes. They will look to use synonyms of such words and this can sometimes result in them being badly applied. Snobs will also seek to set themselves apart by littering their conversations with foreign words or phrases.
- Getty Premium images