Translation of snuff movies


I'd like to know where does the term snuff film come from. After some research I've found the correspondence to snuff out = to die in French but I'm not sure of the translation. What's its exact origin? Thank you in advance.

Francois Borgies

Posted 2014-06-25T11:02:55.217

Reputation: 127

3From Wikipedia: The very first recorded use of the term "snuff film" is in a 1971 book by Ed Sanders ... The metaphorical use of the term "snuff" to denote killing appears to be derived from a verb for extinguishing a candle. The word has been used as such in English slang for hundreds of years. John Camden Hotten lists the term in the fifth edition of his Slang Dictionary in 1874 as a "term very common among the lower orders of London, meaning to die from disease or accident." There's more on the etymology in that article. – jimsug – 2014-06-25T11:12:17.523

The equivalence "to snuff out = to die" has nothing to do with French. :) – Kaz – 2014-06-25T13:29:09.347

In french the translation of "to snuff out" is "to die" (mourir) – Francois Borgies – 2014-06-25T13:30:33.207

I have only heard the verb snuff out used in the transitive sense, meaning to skill someone (and not meaning to die). I watch a lot of movies, including French ones, and have never heard the term snuff film. – None – 2014-06-25T15:09:33.980

@CarSmack at the first line you see that term in ().

– Francois Borgies – 2014-06-26T05:50:29.360

Thanks @FrancoisBorgies However I do not watch généralement pornographique. :) – None – 2014-06-28T17:43:02.447



A snuff film is one in which a real murder is committed for the enjoyment of its sadistic viewers. Naturally, the more torturous and sanguinary the film, the better. Obviously a very twisted genre to say the least.

Snuff is gangster talk for getting rid of someone, killing someone off.


Posted 2014-06-25T11:02:55.217

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