snoek, noun

/snʊk/, /snuk/
Also snook.
unchanged, or (less commonly) snoeks.
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, transferred use of Dutch snoek a name for the European pike Esox lucius.
Any of several large marine fishes:
1. Most commonly, the snake mackerel Thyrsites atun of the Gempylidae, a common food-fish, often eaten smoked, or salted and dried. 2. Either of two species of barracuda of the Sphyraenidae: a. Sphyraena flavicauda. b. S. jello. 3. The katonkel (sense 2 d), Scomberomorus plurilineatus. Also attributive.
In Smith and Heemstra’s Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986), the name ‘snoek’ is used for T. atun; the name yellowtail barracuda is used for S. flavicauda, and pickhandle barracuda for S. jello.
1797 Lady A. Barnard in Lord Lindsay Lives of Lindsays (1849) III. 388The fish called snook..when salted and dried, was one of the best fish at the Cape.
1804 J. Barrow Trav. II. 300Two kinds of fish, the Hottentot and the Snook, are split open, salted, and dried in the sun in large quantities.
a1823 J. Ewart Jrnl (1970) 13Snoek, a long oily fish which being caught in great quantities and consequently cheap, forms the principal food of the slaves.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 68Some [fish] are said to measure six or seven feet in length, being probably of a sort known at Cape Town by the name of snook or pike.
1843 J.C. Chase Cape of G.H. 169Snoek: The most favourite food of the colonists.
1847 A Bengali Notes on Cape of G.H. 70Snooks, the grand Cape stape, and which are dried in millions for foreign markets, are greasy, scaleless horrors,..and are sold by the yard for a mere trifle.
1872 C.A. Payton Diamond Diggings 75The snook is a fish shaped something like a pike, only rather longer, and in skin and colour something like a dusky mackerel. It has a huge mouth and terrible teeth, the bite of which is said to be poisonous.
1888 Cape Punch 14 Mar. 151Brandy is cheap, retail’d at a price That will keep you a fortnight on snoek and boiled rice.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 127Boiled snook or cabeljon [sic], if at the Cape, or any white fish will do.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 17An old Malay fisherman, carrying his baskets of snoek and kabeljaauw suspended from a thick bamboo which rested on his bent shoulders.
1913 D. Fairbridge Piet of Italy 47Trailing the snoek-lines over the stern of Hadje Magmoet’s boat in False Bay.
1931 Times Lit. Suppl. (U.K.) 16 Apr. 301The not a pike..but a distant cousin of the mackerel.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 347The most valuable fish..on the South African Coast are the sole, silver-fish, snoek (barracouta), [etc.].
1951 S. van H. Tulleken Prac. Cookery Bk 87Snoek is a godsend to people living on farms or too far away from places where fresh fish is procurable.
1971 Drum Apr. 8He was sipping Vodka (what else?) and stripping a dried snoekhead of its flesh.
1981 Sunday Times 12 July (Mag. Sect.) 1Kebaabs with yellow rice, snoek masala with masala chips.
1988 C. Norman in S. Afr. Panorama Dec. 40Cape snoek.., a long and toothy creature whose oak-smoked flesh is one of the great traditional delicacies of South Africa.
1989 I. Jones Woman’s World Cookbk 19Smoked Angelfish or Snoek Pâté...A Cape favourite.
4. With qualifying word:
China snoek, a juvenile snoek;
smoorsnoek, see smoor adjective.
1950 Cape Argus 28 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 3China snoek..have thicker bodies and shorter heads than the large snoek. The scientists refuse to recognize the China snoek as a different species.
1957 S. Schoeman Strike! 117The so-called ‘China snoek’, those undersized snoek which are found in Table bay docks during August to October and in False Bay during November-January.
5. combinations
snoek boat, a boat of a type commonly used for snoek fishing;
Snoek Derby, an annual competition for the largest snoek caught;
snoek horn, in historical contexts, a horn sounded to announce the transporting, through the streets of Cape Town, of the first snoek catch of the year; cf. fish horn;
snoek pekelaar /-ˈpɪəkəlɑː(r)/ [Afrikaans pekelaar salted fish], pickled snoek, or snoek cut into strips, salted, and dried;
snoek smoor, see smoor noun.
1963 K. Mackenzie Dragon to Kill 86My father went out with the snoek boats from Hout Bay early this morning.
1976 S. Afr. Panorama Apr. 39Tourists may see a snoek-boat chugging.
1982 Argus 22 Oct. (Suppl.) 3 (advt)Snoek Boat. 4,8 m Sachal, fibreglass with two 8 l Yamaha’s...Steering console, trailer, radio, echo.
1981 Cape Times 27 June 7The organizers of the Multana Snoek Derby — the third — are now overjoyed that the winter snoek have put in an appearance off Hout Bay.
1982 S. Afr. Digest 3 Sept. 1When women boat anglers were excluded from the male-only Snoek Derby at Hout Bay, they protested so strongly that the sponsors had to change their minds.
1965 K. Thompson Richard’s Way 61A high, winding snoek-horn began to call down the street. A horse-drawn cart came trotting by fast.
1986 P. Jooste in Fair Lady 22 Jan. 108The first snoek catch was trumpeted through the streets by the snoek horn.
1890 A.G. Hewitt Cape Cookery 11Snoek Pekelaar. Have the snoek cut into mootjes.
1902 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s Diary of Cape Hsekeeper 142Snoek pekelaar is the name we give to fillets of snoek slightly salted and sun-dried.
1919 M.M. Steyn Diary 253We sent them a keg of ‘snoek pekelaar’ (salted or pickled snoek), which was worth having, as fresh fish was out of the question.
1958 L.G. Green S. Afr. Beachcomber 113Snoek pekelaar consists of slices of the fish placed in layers in a jar of saltpetre, salt, sugar, coriander seeds and bay leaves. It will keep for months.
Most commonly, the snake mackerel Thyrsites atun of the Gempylidae, a common food-fish, often eaten smoked, or salted and dried.
Sphyraena flavicauda.
S. jello.
The katonkel (sense 2 d), Scomberomorus plurilineatus. Also attributive.

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