Origin of snipe
- Middle English probably from Old Norse -snīpa (as in mȳrisnīpa marsh snipe)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- The verb originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India where a hunter skilled enough to kill the elusive snipe was dubbed a "sniper". The term sniper was first attested in 1824 in the sense of the word "sharpshooter".
- Middle English "type of bird", from Old Norse -snipa, in myrisnipa (“moor snipe")