Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CRACK, Krack, Krak, v. Sc. usages.

1. To strike sharply (Cai.7 1940; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 98, krack; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940). Abd.2 1942:
As he steppit hame, he crackit aff the thristle heids wi' his ellwand.

2. To boast, brag (Abd.13 1912; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.). Now obs. in St.Eng., though common in Eng. dial. Vbl.n. cracking. Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs (1870) 199:
Keep out o' his company that cracks o' his cheatery.
Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Guidman o' Inglismill 42:
They happit aboot her like craws on a rig, A' fechtin', or fleechin', or crackin' fell big.
Edb. 1811 H. Macneill Bygane Times 26:
And brag o' Walth, and rising Lands, And endless Trade, and millions making, O' Gain; wi' ither bonnie cracking!

3. (1) intr. To chat, gossip, have a talk. Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. crackin. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 224:
Gae warm ye, and crack with our Dame, Till I set aff the Mill.
Cai. 1930 Caithness Forum in John o' Groat Jnl. (14 March):
Him an' me will lekly crack'wa' in wir ain wey till 'e end o' 'e chapter.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 121:
I canna think what they twa get to crack about.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 110:
An' beg frae you, as my reward, An hour o' crackin.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Cotter's Sat. Night viii.:
The Father cracks of horses, pleughs and kye.

†(2) tr. To talk, narrate. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
D'ye think my kinswoman and me are gaun to lose our gude name wi' cracking clavers wi' the like o' you or your prisoner either?
Abd. 1841 J. Imlah Poems 39:
The host cracked away queer and auld farren stories.

4. With on: “to carry on, as in sailing” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., krak). Bnff.2 1942:
The gale was risin' fest, bit the skipper crackit on withoot slackin' the sheet an inch-muckle.

5. Phrases: (1) to crack an egg, a term used in curling, = Phr. (2) s.v. Brak, v.; (2) to crack a spunk, — match, to strike a match (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2 ( — spunk), Kcb.9 1940); (3) to crack crouse, see Crouse, adj., 2. phr.; (4) to crack like a (pen-)gun, — — pea-guns, — twa hand guns, to talk in a lively manner, to chatter loudly (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10 1940); †(5) to crack looves (lufes), to shake hands, i.e. to seal a bargain; †(6) to crack one's credit, “to lose character and confidence in any respect” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); to become bankrupt, to lose one's reputation; obs. in Eng. since 17th cent. (N.E.D.); (7) to crack one's creed, see Creed; (8) to crack one's thoom(s), to snap the fingers (in glee). Also in Cum. dial. (1) Sc. 1894–95 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. 103:
Then merrily we'll crack an egg, Sweep him up or leave him be.
(2) Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 27:
Crack a match for the cannle!
(4) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.:
And this mad quean after cracking like a pen-gun . . . behoves just to hae hadden her tongue.
Ags. 1846 A. Laing Wayside Flowers (1857) 89:
Cheerie kyth't the bodie, Crackit like a gun.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vi.:
A' the lang forenicht he sat . . . crackin' like a pen-gun.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet 216:
Cracking awa' like pea-guns.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 31:
Jockey and his mither came hame together, cheek for chow cracking like twa hand guns.
(5) Sc. 1824 Royal Visit in Royal Sc. Minstrelsy (ed. J. Burnet) 205:
We've crackit looves, we've plighted faith To be for ever true.
Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Poems 278:
They crackit looves, an' measured mou's.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 63:
He's got that penny for deil haet, ye might cracket lufes on't and been as well, if no better.
(6) Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iii.:
As I tell't ye afore, the minister has crackit his credit wi' me sin' syne.
wm.Sc. [1835–37] Laird of Logan (1868) 172:
I'll try to hole out for ye . . . as muckle as will mak fifteen shillings in the pound; and, my certie! gin he takna that, you'll crack your credit for sense, mair than I hae done mine for want o' siller.
Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Poems 37:
My credit sair crackit, my brass nearly through.
(8) Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 177:
I leugh for glee, and crack'd my thoom', And flang my weel-pangt spleuchan till her.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Heatherland 67:
It mak's them loup an' crack their thooms, The spunk o' Sandy's airms.

6. Combs.: (1) crack-nut, -net, “the fruit of the hazel, Corylus avellana” (Gall. 1898 E.D.D., -nut). Also found in Eng. (Ken. and Dev.) dial. (E.D.D.); †(2) crack-tryst, “one who does not fulfil an engagement to meet with another” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2). (1) Ags.(D) 1890 A. N. Simpson Muirside Memories vii.:
He referred, with a few jokes and gibes, to the time “when the Laird's father and himsel' played at the tottum for crack-nets.”
Ags. 1925 Forfar Dispatch (31 Dec.) 2/5:
A muckle pock o' cracknets was brocht oot.

[O.Sc. has crak(e), crack, from c.1420, to break, chiefly fig., to break (faith or credit), to talk loudly and boastfully, to talk, gossip (D.O.S.T.); O.E. cracian, to make a sharp sound.]

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"Crack v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jan 2022 <>



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