What is a "Sook?"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sunset Properties, Hayward Realty 503939,0002915,0225220243

Has anyone ever heard of a Sook?  I grew up in South Dorchester County, in Maryland, and my father was a waterman.  In the Fall of the year he would always catch loads of female Blue Crabs that the local people call "Sooks."  I have heard the word "sook" locally, in Caroline County too. Ever hear of a Sook?

Posted by

Mickey Hayward, CRB, CRS, MD & DE Farms Homes and Land Sales
Sunset Properties, 110 Market Street,
Denton, Maryland 21629                                                                                                                                        Office Phone: (410) 479-9729 x 21, Cell Phone: (410) 924-2277                                                                           http://www.marylandanddelawarehomes.com

Comments (8)

Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
My family has riverfront property in Southern Maryland and I spent many a spring summer and fall season there.  Everyone in my family is into crabbing and eating crabs and of course Maryland has the BEST crabs in the world!!! I've never heard of the name SOOK in relation to blue crabs.  I've heard of peelers and soft shells.  I know the difference between a male and female crab (it's the look of their "aprons") It is probably just in "my head" from childhood but I always thought the females don't taste as good as the males.  We always just ate the male crabs.  My dad taught us to throw the females back and never eat them.   So What is a SOOK??
Oct 01, 2007 01:32 AM
Mickey Hayward
Sunset Properties, Hayward Realty - Onley, VA
Farm - Land - Home Sales & Commercial Real Estate

Debbie - the "Sooks" are the females which shed (turn into soft crabs - not the scientific term which I think is molt) and then get a hard shell again.  After their shells get hard again their aprons double in size and then the locals go from calling them females to "Sooks."  Check it out some time. That is also when the female (Sook) starts to form eggs under the apron and later becomes what the locals call a "Sponge Crab" because the millions of orange colored eggs look like a sponge on the bottom (apron) of the crab.  Maryland does have the "BEST" blue crabs in the world!

Oct 01, 2007 01:40 AM
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC
Hi Mickey,
I grew up on the coast of North Carolina (still live in the same vicinity) and I have never heard of a sook.  It must be a Maryland term.  Now, soft crabs I know about--love them.  Thanks for educating me this morning.

Oct 02, 2007 12:39 AM
Mickey Hayward - Maryland and Delaware Home Sales
Cynthia - Thanks for the reply.  If you are ever down by the water when the watermen come in with their catch, ask them if they caught any sooks.  I bet they will know what you are talking about and answer you.  My mother has been picking crabs, as a living, since she was a little girl.  She is almost 76.  When I was talking with her on Sunday, she said something about there not being many crabs this year, not even any "sooks" yet.  That's what prompted me to post this topic.  Let me know what you find out from the local watermen.  I'm curious now whether the term is a local one.  Take care.  Mickey 
Oct 02, 2007 12:53 AM

8-5-14 Sook crabs-I've heard the term sook used by waterman for decades so today I did my homework. The following is a quote from a website post: SOOK - A mature (adult) female blue crab, known as a "Sook" to watermen, is identified as having an inverted "U" or bell-shaped apron and red-tipped claws. Her broadly rounded abdomen is free to open and is not sealed shut as before. She must open her apron in order to mate and to carry eggs (see "Sponge Crab.") END QUOTE: I'll provide the website as it's very informative. Read the last part regarding the female spong crab mating and late in the season regarding fertilization and egg laying. http://www.bluecrab.info/identification.html

Aug 05, 2014 05:21 AM
Mickey Hayward
Sunset Properties, Hayward Realty - Onley, VA
Farm - Land - Home Sales & Commercial Real Estate

Fred - Wow!  At long last, there is a reference to what I was writing about almost seven years ago.  The description is abosolutely right.  Thank you so much for the update.  I really appreciate it.  I don't think the link was there when I posted the article but it's great that it's there for reference now.  Thank you!

Aug 05, 2014 06:21 AM

Well... I am a sook. (Another definition -- the Ozzie definition of a perpetual timid, shy, whinger (US: whiner, or complainer). It is who I am, a young male that has IBS and thus I have been challenged with a great (size) damper in life. It really is not as easy as a non-sook would know, but we sooks know what it is like. To simply 'tuck her in' is NO real answer! Plus Religion is NO fair go, I do not care what religion, they all SUCK like vacuum sweepers! They are the only ones who profit and they bilk the unsuspecting into their pen (sheep station) and PROFIT and make a lend out of their adherents! The 'clergy' are nought but joebillies (or indeed jillbillies if female) and that is Strine for workhands at stations (US: ranches). NO dinky-di difference! Too right!

Marx stated about 160 years ago; "Religion ist Opiat der Massen"! Mate, he was spot on! Religion is only a psychological crutch for the feeble minded. I want NOTHING to do with religion! It is fraudulent, fyphie, phoney, and counterfeit!

So mate, I have no answer as a young male strapped with IBS-D, life is a bitch! So I am a little sook that only winds up whinging im perpetua!

May 25, 2018 09:17 PM
Mickey Hayward
Sunset Properties, Hayward Realty - Onley, VA
Farm - Land - Home Sales & Commercial Real Estate

Sorry to hear about your condition mate.  That's certainly a unique definition.



May 31, 2018 07:46 AM