Crack (Excellent)

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5 comments on this post.
  1. Mark:

    Then there is the Irisch “craic” meaning a laugh, good fun, good party. I always thought it was a gaelic word, but apparently it was borrowed from the Scottish English “crack” But now a seperate and specific meaning.

  2. Rube:

    As I understand it, (I have no references to cite), the popcorn based CrackerJack is in reference to British Seamen. They were referred to as Jack Tars and as they were, (in the 19th century), the best seamen afloat, they were given the sobriquet “CrackerJacks”. The only proof of this I can give is the picture of a sailor on the front of the CrackJack box. Why else would that picture be the logo?

  3. Alex:

    And if a Southerner should ask an outlander to please crack the (car) window, I hope that he or she does not break it! It is a request to open the window just a bit — or a crack.

  4. Anne McLeod:

    Jack has a long history in English – way before Jack-in-the-Box and Jack-in-the-pulpit. Its beginning was the ankle grabber, Yakov-Jacob-Jack (and from there, Jacques, James, Diego, Jammes . . .) The ankle grabbing eponym was more sharp than dishonest, also diligent, and spiritual. He became the father of twelve tribes of Israel, all of whom were dispersed throughout the world in accordance with Scriptural prophecies. Many of the tribal members intermarried with their non-Hebrew neighbors to the extent that many people all over the world have at least a trace of Hebrew blood and DNA. Ten of the tribes were said to be lost from the time of the Assyrian captivity of the ten northern tribes of Israel, many of whom were forcibly removed from the land of Israel and forced to settle in remote corners of the Assyrian empire. There were then waves of emigrations from that area, across Europe (and probably across the north, south, and east as well, but being from the west we have documentation of waves of migrations from the northern middle east across Europe of various barbarians (anyone whose faith and customs were different from those of the lands they crossed – especially if that faith required destruction of native pagan worship sites) Some names that have come up in that context are vandals and goths, who have lent their names to dark and destructive linguistic themes. Even the word sack (as in destroy) probably can be traced back to Isaac, jacob’s father. But back to the linguistics of Jacob – Jack. When the ten northern tribes of Israel split from the southern tribes, one of the names applied to the ten northern tribes was Israel, leaving the name Judah on the southern tribes that remained loyal to the family of King David. Israel is another name for Jacob. So the heritage of Jacob was not only the land of Israel of the northern ten tribes, but the name Jack, meaning a sharp or clever individual who lives by his wits, skill, persistence and faith. Hence Jack of all trades, Cracker Jack, Jack-in-the-box, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

  5. Andrew Smith:

    I understood that crack troops came from the Knights Templar castle of Crac des Chevaliers. Only the best of the best were picked to serve there. They were Crac Troops.

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