When I encountered the phrase “snipe hunt,” even though I was perhaps only a decade old, I knew what a snipe was, so I was confused when I was told that it referred to a wild goose chase. After all, a snipe is not a goose, and snipes are huntable (preferably with a camera). It doesn’t make any more sense that it could also be described as a fool’s errand.
Now, the DARE* says the Pennslyvania Dutch might send you searching for elbedritsches (scroll down). Hey, say that three times fast!
BTW, there’s a tenuous connection between the theme of the text and the picture; the electricians had a heck of a time figuring out the wiring for one outlet, and in the process checked above the ceiling, in the basement, outside, and in every room. Eventually: problem solved. I guess that’s about the same as at long last catching the snipe….