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hookem-snivey

hookem-snivey adj Also sp hookum-snivy [OEDS hookum-sniveydial. and slang. . . deceitful, tricky”] old-fash
Petty; deceitful, sneaky.
1938 Atlantic Mth. 161.632/2, I asked a Dutchman . . whether their jobholders ever cut up any such hookem-snivey capers with public money as ours do. He replied no, . . if a jobholder tried to get away with any pawky bookkeeping, he would be likely to hear about it. 1939 AmSp 14.22 (as of 1890s), [Letter:] Are you acquainted with the extraordinary word hookumsnivy, signifying “mean” or “small”? My Quaker grandmother, born in Maryland in 1823, used it in my hearing when she was about seventy years old. She said that it was a barbarism in use among common people and that we must forget it.
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