The Old English Preterite Plural Lives!

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Nov 29 16:58:03 UTC 2001

This discussion is the first I've heard of "snook" = "snuck".
For me it's always been I, you, he/she/it, we, you (pl.), and they "snuck"
(rhymes with "duck")--except for the rare occassions when I remember

maberry at

On Thu, 29 Nov 2001, Carol Genetti wrote:

> I've definitely heard and used "we snook" (rhymes with "look"). I grew up in
> northern California. For some reason, I associate this with my teenage years
> in the 70's -- maybe because we frequently snook out of the house without
> our parents knowing.
>     -- Carol Genetti
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <hstahlke at ATT.NET>
> Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 8:15 AM
> Subject: The Old English Preterite Plural Lives!
> > I just finished with an undergrad HEL class in which we
> > were talking about the development of OE strong verbs
> > into ModE.  One of the minor developments we covered was
> > the analogical rise of new strong verb forms like
> > dive/dove and sneak/snuck.  At this point one student,
> > who grew up in Phoenix, astonished me by saying that she
> > also has the form [snUk] (rhymes with look) and that she
> > uses it only in the plural:  I [snAk] but we [snUk].  I
> > surveyed the class to see if anyone else had heard or
> > used this form, and a student from St. Louis confirmed
> > it, that she heard it in the speech of her teenage son
> > and his friends.  Obviously, this is not a reversal of
> > merger restoring the lost OE preterite plural, but it
> > does create a new preterite plural form.  Has anyone
> > heard this usage or forms like it?  Has anything been
> > written about it?
> >
> > Herb Stahlke
> > Ball State University
> >

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