“Sneak peek” vs. “sneak peak”

“Sneak peek” or “sneak peak”?

I’ve been using the term regularly in the last six months, and I admit, because “peak” and “peek” sound the same, one can easily get them mixed up.

Even your regular public relations person, who should have made an extra effort to spell-check, didn’t get it right when he sent me an invite today saying, “Witness the power of the Mouth as five fun personalities give you a sneak peak on what their mouths can do!”

Before we all get piqued by this misuse, let’s get it straight, shall we?

If we’re referring to a preview of something that hasn’t gone public yet, the correct term is “sneak peek,” where the word “peek” means “a quick glance.” (Thanks, Dictionary.com.)  So when we’re telling someone to “Take a peek of the Ralph Lauren spring collection,” we’re actually offering a “sneak peek” of a line that hasn’t been launched officially.

The word “peak,” on the other hand, refers to the tip of the mountain or the highest level of anything, such as “The peak of my writing career will be when I get the Nobel Prize for Literature,” which is the peak of delusion, really, similar to my ambition of climbing “the peak of Mt. Everest” (probably never going to happen, with my injured foot).

If you’re having trouble setting them apart, just remember that “peek” is spelled almost like its closest cousin, “peep.”  By giving someone a “sneak peek,” you’re indulging the peeping Tom in him. (We know you want to.)


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About Karla

I am an e-mail marketer, editor, and writer. My passions are yoga, food, and Filipino arts and culture.

3 responses to ““Sneak peek” vs. “sneak peak””

  1. Terribly Write says :

    Do you think you could pass this info along to the staffers who write for Yahoo? I’ve logged at least 25 instances of the peak/peek misuse on Terribly Write. Arrrrrrrgh! http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com/category/confused-words/peekpeakpique/

  2. Karla says :

    Hi, Laura,

    Thanks for dropping by! I have a couple of friends over at Yahoo. I’m going to try my best to pass this on to them. I heard they’re looking for, uh, editors! 😉

    P.S. I love your site! Yahoo should hire you!

  3. Laura says :

    I recently came across a variant of “sneak peak” on Yahoo — sneek peek!

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