sneaked or snuck?
Since it came up on Sunday and Wednesday during our youth service, I thought I’d address it here as well. My junior high English and Grammar teacher, Mrs. Hollenbeck taught me that the past tense of the word sneak is “sneaked” not “snuck”. It’s one of those things that I’ve taken with me and never forgotten over the years. Yet, I’m often questioned (or at least given odd looks) whenever I use “sneaked”.
According to dictionary.com, “The standard past tense is sneaked. Snuck is relatively new, an Americanism introduced in the late 19th century.”
According to askoxford.com, “From the beginning, and still in standard British English, the past tense and past participle forms are sneaked.”
According to The American Heritage® Book of English Usage, “Nevertheless, an examination of recent sources shows that snuck is sneaking up on sneaked. Snuck is almost 20 percent more common in newspaper articles published in 1995 than it was in 1985.”
According to the speller checker in my web browser, “snuck” is not a word.
So, in conclusion, “sneaked” is the original, current form for the past tense of sneak. However, American usage of “snuck” has caused this form to become more accepted.