[Ads-l] snuck in British comedy

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 20 22:55:33 EDT 2018

The English Oxford Living Dictionary (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/snuck <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/snuck>) and Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snuck <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snuck>) label “snuck” as North American (Wiktionary says its chiefly so).

In the semi-finals of “Britain’s Got Talent” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0B_6KOdma8 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0B_6KOdma8>, 5:15), Micky P Kerr of Leeds uses it:

It’s kind of recently just snuck up on me

The Cambridge Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/snuck <https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/snuck>) allows for UK usage, even providing a sound file for it.

Stan Carey has a rundown of style mavens and dictionaries in “’Snuck’ sneaked in" (https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/snuck-sneaked-in/ <https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/snuck-sneaked-in/>). Among his sources is the Language Log (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1931 <http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1931>), which cites the OED as saying that in BE, it’s jocular or non-standard.

Of course, since Kerr is doing a comedic routine, jocular certainly fits. 

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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