Like snuff at a wake

In Hades Bloom thinks of an old pauper being "Kicked about like snuff at a wake." The expression derives from the fact that copious amounts of snuff were consumed at traditional Irish wakes, but knowing that does not readily explain why the old man should be described as he is. A second use of the expression in Nausicaa helps to shed light on its range of implied meanings.

John Hunt 2023

V. Alfeldt's Portrait of Man with Beer and Fiddle, 19th century oil on canvas painting showing use of a snuff box. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Print from a wood engraving made from a sketch by M. Woolf ca. 1873, showing wailing and keening, card-playing, heated conversation, and drinking at an Irish wake . Source:

Late 1800s stereoscope image of an Irish wake, probably staged.

Another stereoscope photograph titled "Mickie O'Hoolihan's Wake," copyrighted 1894 by Stromeyer & Wyman. Source: