DSL - SND1   CRACK, Krak, n.1 Sc. usages.     1. A moment, short space of time; gen. in phr. within a crack, in --- ---, immediately, in the twinkling of an eye, the latter form being in gen. colloq. use in Eng. and Sc. Gen.Sc. Cf. QUACK, n.
    *Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act I. Sc. i. in Poems (1728):
    I trow, when that she saw, within a Crack, She came with a right thievless Errand back.
    *Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
    I'll be wi' dee in a krak.
    *Per. 1933 W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 38:
    I stude like ane that has nae pou'r An' yet, within a crack, My hauns were on the unicorn.
    *Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems and Songs 219:
    The Scots they brake and ran away, All in a crack.
    *Uls.2 1929:
    Wait here for me and I'll not be a crack.

    2. A ``shot,'' as at a game, etc. (Bnff.2 Abd.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Lnk.3, Kcb.9 1940).
    *Ags. 1873 Kirriemuir Observer (7 Feb.) 1/3:
    Gotten some ice agen, an' ha'en a crack at the curlin'.

    3. (1) The sudden onset of a storm; (2) ``a sudden outburst of the wind'' (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).
    (1) *Sh. 1928 T. M. M. Shewan in Manson's Shet. Almanac 186:
    Da Greenland whalers wis jöst come hame a week or twa afore da crack cam.
    (2) *Bnff.2 1942:
    Jist as we cam' roon the pint, a crack o' ween took the sail aback an' laid the boat on her beam-end.

    +4. Boastful talk, brag (Abd.13 1912). Gen. in pl. Arch. or dial. now in Eng. (N.E.D.).
    *Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley (1817) xxx.:
    D'ye hear wha's coming to cow yere cracks?
    *Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings 8:
    I ga'e mysel' the glim, for a' my cracks.

    5. (1) Talk, gossip, free and easy conversation. Gen.Sc.
    *Sh.(D) 1898 ``Junda'' Echoes from Klingrahool 31:
    Whan boys an lasses aa nicht lang Keeps up da crack an merry sang.
    *Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Guidman o' Inglismill 38:
    An' syne the crack gaed on --- wha bocht o'er dear; What ``Aikie Brae'' gat for his muckle steer.
    *Slg. 1929 W. D. Cocker in Sc. Readings, etc. (ed. T. W. Paterson) 2:
    Your faither an' me were haein' a bit crack aboot ye last nicht, Lizzie.
    *Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 1:
    To the stiff sturdy aik they lean'd their backs, While honest Sandie thus began the cracks.
    *Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair xxvi.:
    They're a' in famous tune For crack that day.

    (2) A story, an entertaining or scandalous tale (Kcb.10 1940). Often in pl.
    *Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 5:
    All cracks may not be trowed.
    *Bwk. 1893 Minstrelsy of the Merse (ed. Crockett) 235:
    His funny cracks will mak' for weeks The tears rin down your bonnie cheeks.
    *Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to J. Rankine ii.:
    Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants.
    *Uls.2 1929:
    That's the best crack I've heard for a long time.

    (3) Phrases: (a) to ca' the crack, see CA', v.1, III. 19; (b) to get on the crack, to start a conversation; Gen.Sc.; (c) to gie one's crack(s), to give the news, retail gossip; Gen.Sc.; (d) to haud the crack, see HAUD, v.; +(e) to turn the crack, to change the subject. (b)
    *m.Sc. 1925 J. L. Waugh in Cadger's Creel 78:
    At once we got on the crack, and after a few preliminary feelers I asked him if he was a native of these parts.
    *Fif.10 1942:
    There was nae pride aboot the auld laird; he would get on the crack wi' onybody he met. (c)
    *Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act II. Sc. i. in Poems (1728):
    Good-morrow, Nibour Symon --- come sit down, And gie's your Cracks. --- What's a' the News in Town?
    *Mry.(D) 1824 J. Cock Hamespun Lays 114:
    I'm blythe to see you, come awa' An' gie's your cracks an hour or twa.
    *Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser Yelpin' Stane 172:
    ``Come in, if your feet's clean,'' he would cry to a neighbour looking in at the door; ``sit ye doon, an' gie's your crack-'' (e)
    *Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 104:
    Whyles, to turn the crack, I would wyse her on to speak of the ploys of her ain young days.

    +6. An entertaining talker, a gossip.
    *Sc. 1827 Scott Letters (1894) I. 349:
    Pitfoddels called. A bauld crack that auld papist body, and well informed.
    *Abd. 1922 J. Lawrence in Bnffsh. Jnl. (14 Nov.) 2:
    He was a ``crack,'' at once entertaining and helpful.
    *Lnk. 1862 D. Wingate Poems 58:
    An endless ``crack,'' a mighty smoker, And wi' nae rival as a joker.
    *Rxb. 1923 Kelso Chron. (5 Jan.) 4/3:
    The conversation now began to flow in an easier style, Sandy being a great acquisition --- in fact, a ``grand crack.''
    Uls. Saying (per *Uls.2 1929):
    You're good crack where you stay all night.

    7. Phrs.: (1) in the crack of a hen's thoom, in a trice; (2) to play crack, to split, break, give way (cf. to play buff, s.v. BUFF, n.2, a blow).
    (1) *Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 39:
    Joost you twa hing on by the boat . . . and we'll be back for ye in the crack of a hen's thoom.
    (2) *Fif.10 1940:
    A maid speaking of a broken cup said: ``it jist played crack in my hands.''
    *Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) viii.:
    May the velveteens play crack and cast the steeks at every step he takes!

    [O.Sc. has crak(e), crack, a sudden sharp or loud noise as of something breaking, 1375; a loud boast, brag, early 16th cent.; a talk or gossip, 1570 (D.O.S.T.). Crack appears in Mid.Eng. in Cursor Mundi, a.1300, but the noun does not occur in O.E. (N.E.D.).]