American Sniper - Etymology of word

The term sniper 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 was first attested in 1824 in the sense of the word "sharpshooter".  Dating back to the early 19th century, a sniper was originally someone who literally shot snipe. The birds have long been considered one of the hardest types of game to shoot due both to their speed and zig-zagging flight, making it necessary to shoot at them from a distance rather than risk disturbing them by moving closer.

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Tags: animals, etymology, military, snipe, sniper

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