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banner Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 17:10 GMT
Snippy
The word was little known on this side of the Atlantic until Democrat Al Gore used it to describe his Republican opponent, George W Bush.

It means curt or sharp, and is probably not a very statesmanlike thing either to say or to be.

But it is maybe understandable in the circumstances.

When Democrat Al Gore telephoned Republican George W Bush for the second time on election night 2000 to retract his concession, the Texan Governor reportedly did not take the news very well.

Mr Gore responded: "You don't have to be snippy about it."

Al Gore had earlier called Mr Bush to concede the election and the Texas governor was preparing a victory speech. But before he could deliver it, the TV networks declared the state of Florida was too close to call, and thus the election still undecided.

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