crock

Definition

Slang

  • noun nonsense, something worthless and unpleasant. ‘It’s a crock!’ is an expression (inoffensive enough to be used on TV) which was employed in the 1970s and 1980s to dismiss, deride or reject something such as false information. In North America the word crock, for container, is not archaic as it is in Britain and Australia.

Origin & History of “crock”

English has two words crock. The one meaning ‘earthenware pot’ (OE) is now almost never heard on its own, except perhaps in the phrase ‘crock of gold’, but it is familiar from its derivative crockery (18th c.). Its immediate antecedents appear to be Germanic (Dutch, for instance, has the related kruik), but cognate forms appear in other Indo-European languages, including Welsh crochan and Greek krōssós. Cruet (13th c.) comes from Anglo-Norman *cruet, a diminutive frorm of Old French crue ‘pot’, which was borrowed from Old Saxon krūka, a relative of English crock. Crock ‘decrepit person, car, etc’ (15th c.) is earliest encountered (in Scottish English) in the sense ‘old ewe’. The connotation of being ‘broken-down’, and the existence of near synonyms such as Dutch krak, Flemish krake, and Swedish krake, all meaning ‘worn-out old horse’, suggest some kind of link with the word crack.
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