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.
1797Lady A. Barnard inLord LindsayLives of Lindsays (1849) III. 388The fish called snook..when salted and dried, was one of the best fish at the Cape.
1804J. BarrowTrav.II. 300Two kinds of fish, the Hottentot and the Snook, are split open, salted, and dried in the sun in large quantities.
a1823J. EwartJrnl (1970) 13Snoek, a long oily fish which being caught in great quantities and consequently cheap, forms the principal food of the slaves.
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 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.
1843J.C. ChaseCape 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.
1872C.A. PaytonDiamond 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.
1888Cape Punch 14 Mar. 151Brandy is cheap, retail’d at a price That will keep you a fortnight on snoek and boiled rice.
1891H.J. DuckittHilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 127Boiled snook or cabeljon [sic], if at the Cape, or any white fish will do.
1910D. FairbridgeThat 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.
1913D. FairbridgePiet of Italy 47Trailing the snoek-lines over the stern of Hadje Magmoet’s boat in False Bay.
1931Times Lit. Suppl. (U.K.) 16 Apr. 301The snoek..is not a pike..but a distant cousin of the mackerel.
c1936S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 347The most valuable fish..on the South African Coast are the sole, silver-fish, snoek (barracouta), [etc.].
1951S. van H. TullekenPrac. Cookery Bk 87Snoek is a godsend to people living on farms or too far away from places where fresh fish is procurable.
1971Drum Apr. 8He was sipping Vodka (what else?) and stripping a dried snoekhead of its flesh.
1981Sunday Times 12 July (Mag. Sect.) 1Kebaabs with yellow rice, snoek masala with masala chips.
1988C. Norman inS. Afr. Panorama Dec. 40Cape snoek.., a long and toothy creature whose oak-smoked flesh is one of the great traditional delicacies of South Africa.
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