Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Snooks, 1 and 2

The Snooks, 1 and 2

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 24, 2011

A five-part (ten-verse) series dedicated to Keepa’ninny Mark B.

The Snooks

By Olive W. Burt


Even a Snook should hang his head
When this slips out, “I laid abed.”
And almost everyone will frown
When Snooks say carelessly, “Set down.”

Of course, they’ve learned “lay means reclined”
And “We sit down” – but they don’t mind.


For prize mistakes we choose this one
A Snooky favorite, “I done”;
And then its twin, “He done.” Oh, dear.
Snooks will not change in this we fear.

It’s just as easy, isn’t it?
To say, “I did,” “He did his bit”?

(The Instructor, 1938)



  1. Very funny…my maternal grandmother’s sister married a man surnamed Snook, and based upon family lore this could be biographical of their family. But they were all from Hells Kitchen in New York City, so I’m sure this was not unique to them.

    Comment by tom O. — October 24, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  2. Which Snooky are we talking about? Jersey Shores? In which case it might be “We be tanning”? Is that the secret, Mark B is a Jersey Shores fan?

    Comment by kevinf — October 24, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  3. Olive Burt? She’s graced these august pages before, hasn’t she? Oh, yes, Olive Woolley Burt, the author of “And For Eternity,” the much-discussed story about the jilted young woman torn between the soldier on leave and the school principal with two young children.

    Is this poem a nod to the Goops?

    The Goops they lick their fingers
    And the Goops they lick their knives:
    They spill their froth on the tablecloth
    Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
    The Goops they talk while eating,
    And loud and fast they chew;
    And that is why I’m glad that I
    Am not a Goop, are you?

    Comment by Researcher — October 24, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  4. I must admit, when I was the title my first reaction was “The Snooks on the Beaches had belly’s with Stars.”

    Comment by andrew h — October 24, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  5. Oh, blast it, Kevin. My secret’s out.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 24, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  6. Oh Mark, What have you done to deserve this tribute from Ardis, or are you keeping it a secret from the rest of us?

    Comment by Maurine — October 24, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  7. I’ve been trying to remember that third line of Goops since my children were born. Thanks.

    Comment by Carol — October 24, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  8. I always thought the goops spiled their BROTH on the tablecloth. Oh well.

    the improper use of done (e.g. “you done good, son”) was common in the parts of Idaho I grew up in.

    Comment by The Other Clark — October 25, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  9. Or even, “you did done good, son.”

    Comment by lindberg — October 25, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  10. Yikes! Of course it’s broth! That’s a funny typo and what I get for copying that off the internet without reading through it.

    The Goops they lick their fingers
    And the Goops they lick their knives:
    They spill their broth on the tablecloth…

    And about Maurine’s question as to why Mark B. deserved the honor, I can only guess, but I imagine it’s because of his regular insistence on proper grammar. : )

    Comment by Researcher — October 25, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  11. That’s a kind way of putting it, Researcher.

    It’s more likely Ardis’s way of getting back at me for being such a pedantic pain in the neck.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 25, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  12. You are my one-man volunteer copy editor, Mark, and you’re funnier about it even than Olive Burt is.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 25, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

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