I'm reading a novel by John Galsworthy written at the beginning of the twentieth century and I've come across this sentence:

The Board meeting had been long and "snadgy"--a final settling of that Pillin business.

I don't really know what "snadgy" is (the quotation marks haven't been added by me, but are in the original text). My guess from the context is that it is something like "difficult" or "tricky", but I haven't found it in any reliable resource.

Could anyone help me understand this?

  • 1
    Could it be snaggy + edgy? Apr 7, 2021 at 12:34
  • 2
    You were advised when you asked about something else in this book that it's not a good source for learning English. If you keep asking for the meaning of obscure outdated (or never common) usages from this source, I shall start voting to close on the grounds that you can and should do your own "research" if this is how you want to learn what's effectively a "dead" language. Apr 7, 2021 at 13:18
  • (fwiw, I'd guess snadgy was a limited-currency portmanteau of snaggy = full of pitfalls and problems and edgy = tense and argumentative. Freom the same general era, the portmanteau hangry has in fact survived - or been recently resurrected, depending how you see it.) Apr 7, 2021 at 13:25
  • I'm sorry if this is not the right forum to ask this kind of questions, I just didn't know. Thanks for flagging, I'll try looking for help somewhere else from now on! Thanks a lot for your answers, they were really helpful!
    – avx
    Apr 7, 2021 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


I can't find any other example of this word, and some references to snadge don't seem to be relevant. The story is set in Liverpool, England, so it may be a local word. The author is showing that he knows it's an unusual word by enclosing it in quotation marks.

The nearest possible standard English word I can suggest is snaggy - full of snags. Snags originally meant broken trees or branches in a river, but later came to mean any obstacle or impediment.

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