Snorkers is a British English colloquialism for sausages. It may have a Royal Navy slang origin. The term is probably derived from an earlier dialect term for a young pig: Wright's 19th-century English Dialect Dictionary notes "snorker" as a widespread word for a piglet, related to the word "snork", to grunt or snore.
Snorkers is the nickname for Palethorpe's pre-cooked tinned sausages. The nickname originated aboard World War II Royal Navy submarines, along with other culinary delights such as HITS (tinned Herrings In Tomato Sauce) and Baby's Heads (tinned steak and kidney pudding). Fresh food lasted only a few days aboard submarines so nearly everything was tinned.
Snorkers are mentioned in Nicholas Monsarrat's novel The Cruel Sea as the favourite food of Lieutenant James Bennett, RNVR. Bennett is described as Australian, and the snorkers references attributed to him alone, which suggests a possible antipodean derivation of the word.
- Jolly, R. (2012) Jackspeak: A guide to British Naval slang & usage, Bloomsbury, p.419
- Wright, J. (1898) The English dialect dictionary, being the complete vocabulary of all dialect words still in use, or known to have been in use during the last two hundred years, v5, Putnams, p.593
- Domestics in a Submarine - description of RN submariner's food