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Word comparisons

Note 330 – Do you write snuck or sneaked?

Snuck is not a word I tend to use, but I came across it yesterday when I was looking up something else. According to an article by Maeve Maddox, Daily Writing, “the word snuck, as the simple past of sneak, is regarded with disdain by many speakers and writers”.  Sneaked is the correct past tense and past participle, and snuck is less formal; however snuck is accepted American usage and many extracts have been found in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune (for extracts see Daily Writing Tips article). 

Around the globe

The Bee mirrors the above, saying that sneaked is more traditional, but “in American English ‘snuck‘ has become increasingly common as the past tense of ‘sneak‘”.   According to unscientific research mentioned in an article on, snuck (as opposed to sneaked) has been cited in news publications more in Canada than America; however in New Zealand and Australia both words are used equally.  They say that only “British Writers shun snuck” and tend to use sneaked more frequently. 

My thoughts: sneaked sounds better to me so I’ll go with that spelling for now (but that’s probably because, being British, I’ve heard it more). I do have many Canadian relatives though, so will be looking out for it in any written communication I receive from them. 

So, the question is, do you write snuck or sneaked?

Until tomorrow…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


5 thoughts on “Note 330 – Do you write snuck or sneaked?

  1. I’m definitely a “sneaked” type of girl 😉


    Posted by Vikki (The View Outside) | March 26, 2012, 7:07 am
  2. Love your post!!! I’m from Canada and the first time I heard someone say “sneaked” while in the UK I thought that it sounded odd and just plain wrong. ; ) After living here the past 9 years it doesn’t bother me anymore as I’m more aware of some of the slight differences between the UK and North America that aren’t necessarily wrong, just different. (but I still say snuck – old habits die hard, I guess) : )

    One thing that still irks me though is when I hear someone say “I was SAT on the bus….” instead of “I was SITTING on the bus…..” I don’t even know if that is considered proper usage or not but just sounds weird to me.

    Look forward to hearing what others have to say and whether it’s just us “foreigners” that are the odd ones out here!!!! ; )

    Posted by Charlene | June 29, 2012, 6:00 pm


  1. Pingback: Surprise Wednesday « Sam Perkins - March 28, 2012

  2. Pingback: Note 333 – The use of sited, cited and sighted « My writing challenge - March 28, 2012

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