English edit

A square saltine cracker.
A round cracker.
Unlike most crackers, graham crackers are sweet.

Etymology edit

crack +‎ -er. From crack (verb), the sound made when one is broken.

Hard “bread/biscuit” sense first attested in 1739.

Computing senses of cracker, crack, and cracking were promoted in the 1980s as an alternative to hacker, by programmers concerned about negative public associations of hack, hacking (creative computer coding). See Citations:cracker.

Various theories exist regarding the term's application to poor white Southerners. One theory holds that it originated with disadvantaged corn and wheat farmers (corncrackers), who cracked their crops rather than taking them to the mill. Another theory asserts that it was applied due to Georgia and Florida settlers (Florida crackers) who cracked loud whips to drive herds of cattle, or, alternatively, from the whip cracking of plantation slave drivers. Yet another theory maintains that the term cracker was in use in Elizabethan times to describe braggarts (see crack (to boast)); a letter from 1766 supports this theory.[1][2][3]

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: krăk'ə(r), IPA(key): /ˈkɹækə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ækə(ɹ)

Noun edit

cracker (plural crackers)

  1. A dry, thin, crispy baked bread (usually salty or savoury, but sometimes sweet, as in the case of graham crackers and animal crackers).
    Synonym: (UK, Australia) biscuit
    Coordinate terms: biscuit, brittle, cookie, chip, crisp, hardtack, snap, toast, wafer
  2. A short piece of twisted string tied to the end of a whip that creates the distinctive sound when the whip is thrown or cracked.
    Synonyms: popper, snapper
  3. A firecracker.
    • 1911, James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, volume 9, page 146:
      It is customary in every part of China to fire off crackers on the last day and night of the year for the purpose of terrifying expelling the devils.
  4. A person or thing that cracks, or that cracks a thing (e.g. whip cracker; nutcracker).
    1. The final section of certain whips, which is made of a short, thin piece of unravelled rope and produces a cracking sound.
      Synonym: popper
  5. A Christmas cracker.
  6. Refinery equipment used to pyrolyse organic feedstocks. If catalyst is used to aid pyrolysis it is informally called a cat-cracker
  7. (slang, chiefly Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A fine, great thing or person (crackerjack).
    She's an absolute cracker!
    The show was a cracker!
    A cracker of a day.
    • 2011 January 15, Saj Chowdhury, “Man City 4 - 3 Wolves”, in BBC[2]:
      And just before the interval, Kolarov, who was having one of his better games in a City shirt, fizzed in a cracker from 30 yards which the Wolves stopper unconvincingly pushed behind for a corner.
  8. An ambitious or hard-working person (i.e. someone who arises at the 'crack' of dawn).
  9. (computing) One who cracks (i.e. overcomes) computer software or security restrictions.
    Synonyms: black-hat hacker, black hat, hacker
    Coordinate term: script kiddie
    • 1984, Richard Sedric Fox Eells, Peter Raymond Nehemkis, Corporate Intelligence and Espionage: A Blueprint for Executive Decision Making, Macmillan, page 137:
      It stated to one of the company's operators, “The Phantom, the system cracker, strikes again . . . Soon I will zero (expletive deleted) your desks and your backups on System A. I have already cracked your System B.
    • 2002, Steve Jones, Encyclopedia of New Media, page 1925:
      Likewise, early software pirates and "crackers" often used phrases like "information wants to be free" to protest the regulations against the copying of proprietary software packages and computer systems.
  10. (obsolete) A noisy boaster; a swaggering fellow.
  11. (US, derogatory, ethnic slur, offensive) An impoverished white person from the southeastern United States, originally associated with Georgia and parts of Florida; (by extension) any white person.
    Synonyms: corn-cracker, honky, peckerwood, redneck, trailer trash, white trash, whitey, wonderbread; see also Thesaurus:white person
    • 1970, “(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go”, in Curtis, performed by Curtis Mayfield:
      Brothers and the whiteys / Blacks and the crackers / Police and their backers / They're all political actors
    • 1997, Kevin Smith, Chasing Amy, spoken by Hooper (Dwight Ewell):
      Check this shit: You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!
    • 2019, Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys, Fleet, page 202:
      “You know that old cracker beat them boys.”
  12. (Florida, slang, derogatory) A police officer.
  13. A northern pintail, species of dabbling duck.
  14. (obsolete) A pair of fluted rolls for grinding caoutchouc[4].

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Gavin Cochrane (June 27, 1766) Letter to the Earl of Dartmouth: “I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas and Georgia, who often change their places of abode.”
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “cracker”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. ^ John A. Burrison (2002), “Crackers”, in The New Georgia Encyclopedia[1], Georgia State University
  4. ^ Edward H[enry] Knight (1877), “Cracker”, in Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary. [], volume I (A–GAS), New York, N.Y.: Hurd and Houghton [], →OCLC.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Czech edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈkrɛkr̩]
  • Hyphenation: cra‧c‧ker

Noun edit

cracker m inan

  1. Alternative form of krekr

Declension edit

Noun edit

cracker m anim (feminine crackerka)

  1. drug user

Declension edit