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cracker

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English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From the verb to crack. Hard "bread/biscuit" sense first attested 1739, though "hard wafer" sense attested 1440.

Noun

Singular
cracker

Plural
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cracker ({{{1}}})
  1. A dry, thin, crispy, and usually salty or savory biscuit.
  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.
  3. A firecracker.
  4. A person or thing that cracks, or that cracks a thing (e.g. whip cracker; nutcracker).
  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. (chiefly Template loop detected: Template:context new 2) A fine thing or person (crackerjack).
    She's an absolute cracker! The show was a cracker!
  8. (computing) A person who cracks, (i.e. overcomes) computer software or security restrictions to enable unrestricted use or for malicious purpose.
Translations
Synonyms
  • (hard, salty bread): biscuit
  • (twisted string on a whip): popper
Related terms

Etymology 2

Various theories exists regarding this 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 assumes it was applied due to Georgia and Florida settlers (Florida crackers) who cracked loud whips to drive herds of cattle, or, alternately, 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. An early reference that supports this sense is a letter dated June 27, 1766 from Gavin Cochrane 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." [1][2]

Noun

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Singular
cracker

Plural
{{{1}}}

cracker ({{{1}}})
  1. (US, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) An impoverished white person from the SE United States, originally associated with Georgia and parts of Florida; or, (by extension) white people generally.
Synonyms

Etymology 3

Disputed.

Noun

Singular
cracker

Plural
{{{1}}}

cracker ({{{1}}})
  1. One who illegally circumvents protections in security to gain unauthorized access.
Synonyms

References

  • Notes:
  1. ^ "cracker" in the Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 2001
  2. ^ "cracker" in The New Georgia Encyclopedia, John A. Burrison, Georgia State University, 2002

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