Besides the other funny words for human things, Ariel also has a special name for a pipe.
Ariel calls a pipe a “snarfblatt” in The Little Mermaid. The word is made up by Ariels friend Scuttle the seagull who taught her about this human object.
Let’s have a closer look at why Ariel uses this special word for pipes.
Why does Ariel call the Pipe a “snarfblatt”?
When exploring the sunken ship at the beginning of the movie, Ariel finds a few human objects including a fork as well as a pipe. Her friend Scuttle the seagull explains to her that the pipe is called “snarfblatt”.
Why did Scuttle give this name to the Pipe?
Scuttle has some knowledge about human objects because he flies around the shore where the humans live and gets to see some of the things they use.
Snarfblatt can be broken up into the two words “snarf” and “blatt”. “To snarf” means to “gobble something down” and “Blatt” is German for “leaves”. Thus, snarfblat can be translated as “gobbling down leaves”. That actually makes sense for a pipe as you do consume the tobacco leaves that you put into a pipe.
Meaning-wise Scuttle thus has a very fitting word for the pipe. That doesn’t keep him from telling Ariel that a pipe is a musical instrument though. But you can’t get everything right.
You can hear Scuttle’s thoughts in this video:
Here is what he says:
Flounder: “What about that one?” [Looks at the pipe.]
Scuttle: “Ah! This. I haven’t seen in years! This is wonderful! A banded, bulbous Snarfblatt. Now the snarfblatt dates back to prehistorical times when humans used to sit around and stare at each other all day. That’s very boring. So! They invented this snarfblatt to make fine music. Allow me.” [Blows into the snarfblatt.]
Quite an interesting story – even if its made up. As you can see, Scuttle even says himself that he hasn’t seen this object in years. It is no surprise that gets something mixed up. And I can understand him – the pipe does look somewhat like a wind instrument.
Ariel later finds out that the pipe is not used for making music when Grimsby (Erics caretaker and confidant) lights his pipe in front of Ariel when she is dining with him and Eric.