On our writing retreat, Stephanie and I were working on books that took place within 15 years of each other. This is pretty new for us, LOL, and we had some fun conversations on what words were around back then. Our motto–“Surprisingly modern.”

The Snark Banker, illustration by Henry Holliday
from Carroll’s “The Snark Hunter”

One of our favorite discoveries was snarky. This is a word writers use All. The. Time. Because, let’s face it, so many of us are “irritable, short-tempered” artists, LOL. And it can be so much fun to write characters who are the same. Apparently it’s not so widely-used a word in larger circles, but come on. It totally should be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Snarky has been around since 1906 (which means I can totally use it in my 1910-1911 book! Woot!) with the above meaning. The verb snark actually dates from 1882, meaning “to nag or find fault with.” Which in turn comes from the noun (1866) that means “snort.” (From the same root as snarl.)

Interestingly, Lewis Carroll actually coined the word as an imaginary creature in 1876. His snark is unrelated to snarky, though there has sense been a back-formation that gives snark the meaning of “caustic, opinionated rhetoric” that we writers so love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On a completely unrelated note, in remembrance of Holy Week, I’m offering the Kindle version of A Stray Drop of Blood, which pivots around the crucifixion, on sale for only $0.99 cents! So if you’ve been waiting for the perfect excuse to buy my debut novel, you won’t find a better one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Through this Sunday, 4/20/14, only.

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