Did the term “snow job” ever have a literal meaning, such as plowing or shoveling, or did it always mean something deceitful?
The phrase has always implied something that was sinister or insincere. Like the blizzards that cause a virtual, blinding white-out, a snow job is a form of obstruction or confusion by way of overwhelming with words or details. During World War II, American G.I.s used the expression (and the practice) to persuade their higher-ups that they should be given extra time off or, in some cases, forgiven for some perceived infraction because of circumstances beyond their control. Bosses are often offered snow jobs in the form of elaborate excuses for work not done or deadlines not met. Teachers get their snow jobs in the guise of “the dog ate my homework,” parents have various versions all tailored to the particular child in question.