Smart Humor | sarcasm, snark, sassy, snipe

Sarcasm, Snark, Sassy, and Snipe.

I tend to lump them all together in one big bucket without trying to sort out which is which. If I had to put a label on the bucket, I’d come up with something like “things that make me laugh because… smart.”

I think it’s time I unpacked that bucket and look a little closer.

(Quick rewind… I’m trying to reconcile how half the stuff on my blog is of the “I need adult supervision” vein while the other half is in the “listen to this wisdom” vein.  I’m not exactly signing up to be a hot mess. I’m pretty sure God wants me to write and to be an encouragement to other women, but I’m struggling to understand how my sassy mouth fits with in with God’s plan.  In short, is God OK with sassy?)

I decided it was time to hit the dictionary.

sassy smart humor defined

Am I the only one thinking that there is a HUGE difference between those?

  • Sarcasm: The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
  • Snark: Snide remark (Snide is derogatory or mocking in an indirect way)
  • Sassy: Lively, full of spirit, smart aleck.
  • Snipe: Make a sly or petty verbal attack.

Sarcasm, snark, and snipe all seem to involve being hurtful in one form or another.  To mock is to “make fun of someone or something in a cruel way.”

(I also shudder at the word “crotchety” because… yikes. I’m pretty sure there’s a synonym for that word that rhymes with “itch.”)

Sassy is something different.  I can’t begin to describe the happy dance of my heart when I read the definition of sassy.  I love the idea of being “lively and bold and full of spirit.”

smart humor

Smart Humor.

Sassiness, sarcasm, snark, and snipe are all things that I mentally put in the “smart” humor bucket.  I put them there because they require a certain amount of thought, awareness, and sophistication to appreciate the humor of them.  Little kids don’t “get” smart humor.

I also lump puns and wit into the smart humor bucket, but since they don’t start with “S” like the others, I kind of ignored them.

Besides, I’m pretty sure God is okay with a few egg jokes (or is that yolks… I crack myself up.)

I still love sassy.

sassy defined

As my hair-dresser says, “sassy looks good on me.” But I do recognize that sassy has a dark side.  Take a look one more time at the synonyms.

brassy, discourteous, disrespectful, insolent, mouthy, rude, smart alecky, smart-mouthed

My kids get in trouble for being sassy.  When their dad gives them “the look” and says “don’t you dare sass your mother” he is upset because they have been discourteous, rude, and just plain mouthy.   (The kids can’t help it. They’re second generation “sassers.”)

The dark side of sassy is disrespectful. It’s unintentionally hurtful. It’s just plain rude.  When sassy goes to far and forgets itself, it becomes full blown sarcasm.

 

 

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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