The Witness Project asks: Snitching, does it have more than one meaning?

Does the term snitching have more than one meaning?

Well, that depends on who you ask.

To some, snitching is the same, whether tattling on a sibling or informing to the police on a (former) friend.

But others say that motive really matters.

“Snitching has the intent of getting someone in trouble,” Anisia Ramos said. Especially if it is someone you don’t like.

This week, our video series continues as collaborator Edward “Phatty” Banks, founder of Reading R.A.M.M., asks: “Snitching, does it have more than one meaning?”

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Learn more about The Witness Project here.

The term ‘snitch’ dates back more than 300 years in England and translated roughly it means: a “flick on the nose.” Or more simply that a person was nosy. Later, it evolved into a word that meant “informer.”

So, it wasn’t a big leap to the broader, modern-day meaning, that is expanded to include just about any breaches of loyalty.

Snitching now is interpreted as going against a street code – still a bad thing to do, Nate Phillips said. But even within that, there are layers.

In some cases, people are opposed to snitching until it is their loved one who was hurt and it “hits differently.”