‘Dry Snitching’ Slang Meaning: What Does It Even Mean?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 28, 2022

Ever heard the saying' dry snitching' and wondered what it meant? You're about to find out! This article will teach you what it means to dry snitch and how the idiom applies to different scenarios.

But first, to summarize the meaning of 'dry snitching.' It refers to the act of reporting someone for their wrongdoings, but indirectly, without saying it expressly.

What is the Meaning of 'Dry Snitching'?

'Dry snitching' is an idiom, meaning it is an expression used as a metaphor to express an idea. 'Canary in a coalmine' is an example of another idiom.

It was derived from the term 'snitch,' which means to report someone's behavior to another person or authority in a way that could get them into trouble. Here are some synonyms of 'snitch':

  • Tattletale
  • Informer
  • Rat
  • Squealer
  • Whistle-blower

'Dry snitching,' on the other hand, means to snitch on someone, but indirectly. In other words, you would not tell the person directly what you know, but you would make sure they find out in another way.

'Snitching' is the present continuous form of 'snitch,' which can be either a noun or a verb. Used as a noun, it would look like this:

  • I don't trust him; he's a dry snitch.
  • Nobody likes a dry snitch.
  • Everyone accuses me of being a dry snitch, but I'm just an advocate for the truth.
  • There are always one or two dry snitches in the workplace.

'Dry snitch' as a verb would look like this:

  • I don't trust him; he dry snitched on me the other day.
  • I'm going to dry snitch on him.
  • Why did you have to go dry snitching on me? What did I ever do to you?
  • I've seen her dry snitching her colleagues, so I will stay away from her.

Examples of Dry Snitching Scenarios

Let me elaborate further by presenting some scenarios where I will differentiate between snitching and dry snitching.

Scenario 1

Your colleague Julia is wearing jeans at work which is against the dress code. You resent her for it because you would like to wear jeans also.

To snitch on this colleague would mean going up to your boss and telling them that Julia is wearing jeans.

Dry snitching on Julia would mean waiting for the boss to be present and then saying aloud to Julia: "I didn't know the dress code had changed."

Scenario 2

You saw your friend Joe take a photo in a museum where photography isn't allowed.

Snitching would be approaching a guard and telling them what your friend did.

Dry snitching would be waiting for one of the guards to be nearby and saying aloud: "You should print that photo out and frame it; it'll look great in your living room."

Scenario 3

Your brother Tom took the last candy bar out of the jar without permission.

Snitching would be telling your mom that Tom took the last candy bar.

Dry snitching would be asking your mom if you can have a candy bar, fully aware she knows only one is left. That way, when she looks in the jar and sees it empty, she'll know your brother was the one who took it.

Final Thoughts on 'Dry Snitching'

As you can see, there are two types of snitches: those who tattletale directly and those who do it indirectly.

'Dry snitching' has negative connotations because reporting someone for their wrongdoings is generally seen as wrong, but this isn't a straightforward issue. For example, you would not be called a dry snitch or even a snitch for calling the police if you witnessed a robbery. It would be entirely understandable for you to do that.

So when does the word 'dry snitch' apply? Usually, when the situation has nothing to do with you, is not harming you, or when snitching is allowing you to be a coward and not take responsibility for your actions.

I hope this has helped clarify the meaning of the idiom' dry snitching' and its connotations in everyday contexts.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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