sniff at, snoopy, snook

前回の sneeze at と似た意味を持つ単語として sniff at 「~を鼻であしらう」がある。やはり not to be sniffed at という形でも使われる。

- INFORMAL to disapprove of something
A lot of people still sniff at comics and think them a juvenile habit.
Still, a free weekend in Amsterdam is an offer not to be sniffed at. (= is worth having)

- to show contempt or dislike for:
The price is not to be sniffed at.

- to regard something in a contemptuous or dismissive manner:
The critics sniffed at the adaptation of the novel to film.

sniff はフンフン、クンクンと鼻でかぐことで、around をつけると「かぎまわる」「詮索する」、out をつけると「かぎつける」という意味になるのも想像しやすい。

- sniff around/round
try to find out information about sb/sth, especially secret information:
We don't want journalists sniffing around.

- sniff sb/sth out
discover or find sb/sth by using your sense of smell [by looking]:
The dogs are trainded to sniff out drugs.
Journalists are good at sniffing out a scandal.

ついでに sniffer dog は麻薬や爆発物の探知犬のことである。

ついでだが snoop という動詞も「(~を)いろいろ詮索する、のぞき回る」、また名詞として「おせっかい」「探偵」「スパイ」といった意味になる。

- INFORMAL DISAPPROVING look around a place secretly, in order to discover things or find out information about someone or something:
People were sent out to snoop on rival businesses.
She's the sort of person you can imagine snooping about/around your room when you're not there.
- try to find out about other people's private lives
I don't mean to snoop, but is there something wrong?
Clara's husband is snooping on her because he thinks she is seeing another man.

- somebody who snoops: somebody who pries into other people's lives
- secret investigation: a surreptitious investigation of somebody's private life or property

形容詞の snoopy は「せんさく好きな」 inclined to snoop: tending to pry into the affairs of others ということになる。犬のスヌーピーにはこの語感が重ね合わされているのだろうか。

sneeze at や sniff at からの連想でもうひとつ、snook は親指を鼻に当てて他の指をひらひらさせる侮蔑のしぐさ。このままでは動詞の意味にはならず、cook a snook at として使う。

- rude gesture: a gesture made as a sign of contempt, by putting the thumb to the nose with the fingers outstretched

- (in phrase cock a snook) informal, chiefly Brit.
1 place one's hand so that the thumb touches one's nose and the fingers are spread out, as a gesture of contempt
2 openly show contempt or a lack of respect for someone or something

- cock a snook at sb/sth
to do something intentionally to show a lack of respect for someone or something:
He could seldom resist an opportunity to cock a snook at traditional English life.

not to be sneeze atとBless you