Useful Scots word: Snib

What do you call the little metal button that you press down on the back of a Yale lock to hold the bolt in or out? You must surely, at some point, have pressed it down to prevent the door from locking as you nip out without your keys to fetch something. It is highly possible that you have been the victim of an exceptionally strong gust of wind that slammed the door shut and locked you out anyway.
In reply to my own question I call the metal button a snib. Until very recently I thought everyone did. However, when I asked someone the other day to put the snib down while she went out to get something from her car the response was ‘The what?’
Remembering that the person lacking this particular piece of linguistic knowledge was from south of the border, it suddenly dawned on me that snib must be one of those Scots words that trick you by not sounding particularly Scots. Also, unlike many Scots words, snib is in such common use that it could easily be assumed to be English.
What on earth do people use instead of snib? The result of a straw poll suggested that catch was the most favoured word by those ignorant of the existence of snib, although some people opted for latch. Of course, in common with many words, the use of snib does not stop at the border and it is also to be found on some lips in the north of England.
The noun snib is also used to refer to a catch or small bolt for fastening a door or window. It was originally used to refer to a small piece of wood which was inserted into a door latch so that it became quite fast and could not be raised from the outside.
When it is not associated with doors and windows snib has several other meanings. It can mean a check or form of restraint, a rebuke, a rebuff or snub, or a calamity or reversal of fortunes. Also it can be used of a short steep hill or incline.
As is the case with a huge number of words, the origin of snib is uncertain and it is unclear whether all the meanings given here are actually from the same word. Snib in the sense of catch or bolt may be from a Low German word snibbe meaning a beak or beak-like point. The rebuke or rebuff meaning may be associated with the English word snub which, in turn, may have come from the Old Norse word snubba.
Snib can also function as a verb meaning to fasten, bolt or lock a door or a window. If you fail to snib a window and a passing burglar creeps in you might well find that your insurance company is reluctant to pay you any compensation for the loss of your stolen goods.
The verb also has other senses corresponding to the noun and can mean to check or restrain, to rebuke or punish, or to rebuff or snub. In addition, it can mean to shut someone or something in, to cut off or slice, to cut short or trim something, or to curtail something. Next to the bolt meaning the verb sense that I am most familiar with is to rebuff, as in I went over to speak to her but she snibbed me and walked away.
The cut off or trim meaning of the verb snib brings us the adjective snibbet. As applied to hair, snibbet means cropped very close. Such hair seems to be very fashionable among young and middle-aged men these days, possibly because it draws attention away from incipient baldness. Perhaps hairdressers should adopt the word and advertise snibbet cuts.