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sb70012

Sneak on someone

Hello,I have checked the dictionaries and also WR's.

sneak /sniːk/ vb(intr; often followed by along, off, in, etc) to move furtively(intransitive) to behave in a cowardly or underhand manner(transitive) to bring, take, or put stealthily(intransitive) to tell tales (esp in schools)(transitive) to steal(intr; followed by off, out, away, etc) to leave unobtrusivelyClick to expand...
I have two questions about [sneak on someone]:1. Why doesn't this definition exist in WR dictionary?to secretly tell an adult or someone in authority, especially a teacher, that someone else has done something bad, often in order to cause trouble.2. Is [sneak on someone] a phrasal verb or an intransitive verb?Thank you. 

5 answers answer to the question Sneak on someone

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Loob updated 15 August 2015
It's intransitive meaning 4 in the WR Collins dictionary, sb:
4. (intransitive) INFORMAL CHIEFLY BRIT to tell tales (esp in schools)Click to expand...
We tell tales on someone; we also sneak on someone. 
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sb70012 updated 15 August 2015
Thanks for answering but loob, definition #4 differs from mine (the brown one).Definition #4 = to tell stories or imaginary eventsMy definition (the brown one) = to discover someone's faultThese two aren't the same thing. Are they? 
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Loob updated 15 August 2015
Ah, it's the meaning of "tell tales" that's causing the problem. Here are two definitions of "tell tales" in the WR Collins Concise dictionary:
tell tales ⇒ to tell fanciful liesto report malicious stories, trivial complaints, etc, esp to someone in authorityClick to expand...
So, you see, "sneak" = "tell tales" and "tell tales" = to secretly tell an adult or someone in authority, especially a teacher, that someone else has done something bad, often in order to cause trouble. 
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DonnyB updated 15 August 2015
(1) a similar definition is given in Oxford Dictionaries Online: sneak [no object] British informal (Especially in children’s use) inform an adult or person in authority of a companion’s misdeeds; tell tales:The same dictionary defines tell tales as: Gossip about or reveal another person’s secrets or wrongdoings:(2) It's an intransitive verb which takes the proposition on with [somebody].[cross-posted with Loob] 
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sb70012 updated 15 August 2015
Wow, how interesting. Thank you both.I didn't know that [tell tales] has two meanings. 
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