Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cracked adj.

[fig. uses of SE cracked, broken]

1. bankrupt, financially ruined.

[UK]R. Edwards Damon and Pithias (1571) Biii: My credite is crackte where I am knowne.
[UK]Greene Quip for an Upstart Courtier D: When their credit is utterly crackt, they practise some bad shifte.
[UK]Rowley Woman never Vext 53: Master Alderman, these two crackt Gallants Are in severall bonds to my predecessor For a debt of full two thousand pounds apiece.
[Scot] ‘Dainty Dialogue between Henry and Elizabeth’ in Euing Broadside Ballads No. 78: But I never lov’d Punk. Though my credit be crackt [...] it came not with spending my means on a whore.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 64: A crack’d Coffee-Man would be cursing his lascivious Wife, and swearing that she ruin’d him by treating her Sparks with Nectar and Ambrosia.
[Scot]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 22: His neighbour tradesman began to shun his company as a man that was cracked.

2. deflowered [note ety. at cracked in the ring ].

[UK]J. Whetstone Promos and Cassandra II V i: These two dayes, I haue bene in Court [...] To salve hir Fame, crackt by his breache of fayth.
[UK]Greene Neuer Too Late in Grosart Works (1881–3) 154: She which hath crackt her credite is halfe hanged.
[UK]Marston Fawne I ii: Thou shalt marry a rich widdow, or a crackt Lady, whose case thou shalt make good.
[UK]Fletcher Chances II iii: That pure fire Has melted out her Maiden-head: She is crack’d.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 29 13–20 Dec. 227: If any crack’d chamber-maid want a maidenhead, inquire for Dick the lusty Butcher of Eastcheap, and he can afford her a lusty Penny-worth.
[UK]School of Venus (2004) 15: If the Parents themselves perceive it, they will say nothing but put off their crackt Daughter to one Cocks-comb or another .
[UK]Petition of the Ladies of London in Harleian Misc. IV (1809) 329: This petition is subscribed by threescore-thousand hands, and never a cracked maidenhead or widow amongst them.
[Scot] ‘Merry Hay-Makers’ in Euing Coll. Broadside Ballads (1971) 215: When they are crackt, away they are packt, for Virgins away to the City.
[UK]N. Ward Adam and Eve 93: An expert Jilt [will] impose a crack’d Virginity, for a whole One, on some old Leacher of Quality.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy V 70: A due care be taken to visit the Carriers for crack’d Maidenheads.
[UK]Bailey (trans.) Erasmus’ Colloquies 200: Go into some Cloyster, that takes in crackt Maids.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 6 Apr. 105/1: [W]alking with a girl of cracked reputation.

3. of money, counterfeit.

Greene Tritameron Pt II H: [You] are so cunning in your sophistre, that womens wits are halfe dazled [...] but taking once (as many Ladies haue done) crackt coine for payment.
[UK]Pennyless Parliament of Thread-bare Poets 30: Some would be taken for wise Men, who. indeed are Fools; for some will take cracked angels of your Debtors.

4. insane, crazy, eccentric; thus cracked about/on, obsessed with, infatuated with.

[[UK]P. Holland (trans.) Suetonius’s Historie of Twelve Caesars (1899) II 208: Whereat, shee [...] set up a laughter, mervailing that her sonne should have a cracked braine [...] since that his Mother had her wittes still whole and sound].
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Scornful Lady IV i: Let him alone; he’s crack’d.
[UK]M. Stevenson Poems 116: I would to a Conduit bring, This crackt, and crasie, horn-mad thing, And souce Him for a spirit.
[UK]Garrick Miss in her Teens I i: The fellow’s cracked for certain.
[Scot]Johnson in Boswell Life (1906) I 557: I could never see why Sir Roger [de Coverly] is represented as a little cracked.
Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh) 3 June 29/1: Merchants grown rich, or merchants cracked in the brain.
[Ire]C. Macklin Man of the World Act III: She was mad [...] this cracked creature used to pray, and sing, and sigh, and groan, and weep, and wail, and gnash her teeth constantly.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Dead Alive (1783) 24: My niece buried! why she’s crack’d (Aside).
[UK]T. Dibdin Jew and the Doctor II i: Why, my dear Betty, you are certainly crack’d.
[US]H.H. Brackenridge Modern Chivalry (1937) Pt II Vol. I Bk II 431: Juryman; he seems a little cracked.
[UK]W. Oxberry Actress of All Work 9: Damme – she’s cracked!
[UK]J. Wight More Mornings in Bow St. 201: ‘I appeal to your worship’s discrimination whether i am either cracked, crazed, or mad?’.
[UK]Satirist (London) 1 May 27/2: A few [i.e. rebels] to Siberia I sent, / And a few to the gallows and knout. / Cracked Constantine kicked a few more.
[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 46: You must be cracked if you flunk out before we begin.
[UK]Sam Sly 14 Apr. 2/1: Sam thinks Mr. C—k must be a fool, or half cracked, to put any money down for lawyers to nibble.
[UK]C. Reade It Is Never Too Late to Mend II 56: It is right you should know the chaplain is cracked.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 12 June 3/4: Witness thought him cracked and took him to the watch-house.
[US]H.L. Williams Three Black Smiths in Darkey Drama 4 31: Oh, he’s cracked!
[US]C. White Magic Penny in Darkey Drama 5 Act I: Oh, nonsense! you’ve played in the policy so long, that you’re [sic] head’s cracked [...] I tell you that you are crazy.
[Ind]‘Aliph Cheem’ Lays of Ind (1905) 21: This point is a fact / Which is never attacked; / The person who doubts it, no doubt, must be cracked!
[US]Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) 1 May 561: Judge. ‘Is her head affected?’ Prisoner. ‘Am I cracked? Of course — in the nut.’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 14 Jan. 7/1: ‘It shows [...] that Ingorsoll and I are badly cracked’.
[UK]G. Allen Tents of Shem I 103: Is the girl cracked? Has much learning made her mad at Girton?
[UK]Tabrar & Costello [perf. Marie Lloyd] Madam Duvan 🎵 You should see her when she tries to act / You’d swear that she was just a little cracked.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo 104: It’s about that cracked waxey hisself.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 20 Oct. 38: I believe he quite thought for the moment that Marshal had gone cracked.
[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 120: Stubbs must be cracked to think he can beat him!
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 727: Didnt he kiss our halldoor yes he did what a madman nobody understands his cracked ideas but me.
[US]J.P. McEvoy Showgirl 106: He’s cracked on a little night club dancer.
[US](con. 1917–19) Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1966) 515: Eleanor said her sufferings have made the old woman a little cracked.
[UK]Bath Chron. 24 Dec. 11/1: ’Aunted, my foot! ’Oo cares for wot a parcel of old cracked dossers say!
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 79: You’re a little cracked.
[UK]P. Hastings Cases in Court (1953) 80: ‘That he was lacking in mental balance.’ ‘That he was cracked?’.
[US]Kerouac letter 27 Dec. in Charters I (1995) 243: I say this to reassure you in case you think I’m cracked, or don’t think I’m cracked.
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘The Disgrace of Jim Scarfedale’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 131: He thought I was cracked even more than he was himself.
[UK]P. Barnes Ruling Class I vii: Most of us’d look pretty cracked if we went round doing just what we wanted to, eh, sir?
[UK]A. Burgess Enderby Outside in Complete Enderby (2002) 301: You craked? You skirted? You got the big drop on?
[UK]A. Ayckbourn Ten Times Table I iii: He’s a megalomaniac. The man’s paranoid. He’s cracked.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 112: Searched his skull in case his mind was cracked / or broken.
[US]P. Highsmith Ripley Under Water (1992) 80: The woman is cracked!
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 212: He was cracked on a thirteen-year-old girl.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 177: Are you cracked, girl?
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 13: Do your friends and family regard you as a little bit cracked?
[Ire]L. McInerney Rules of Revelation 11: ‘I wonder sometimes if it isn’t half-cracked that carry-on makes you’.

5. at the end of one’s tether; emotionally drained (rather than actually insane).

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 23/1: As long as we get off this infernal boat, for I’m nearly ‘cracked’ with the heaving and rolling, and the stink of oil.
[US] in C. Browne Body Shop 84: The lieutenant was cracked. He’d never seen contact [...] He just couldn’t handle it.
[Aus]G. Gilmore Base Nature [ebook] ‘You’re cracked [...] Best leave it alone, mate’.

In phrases

cracked in the filbert (adj.)

see under filbert n.

cracked in the ring (adj.) [ring n. (1a); note Williams: ‘Gold coins were very thin, so liable to fracture [...] The inscription around the coin’s circumference was enclosed within two rings. When a crack extended past the inner ring, the coin lost currency’; cit. 1600–01 refers to an actor playing a female role]

deflowered; thus crack a ring v.

[UK]Shakespeare Hamlet II ii: Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.
[UK]Middleton Your Five Gallants II iii: Here’s Mistresse Rose-noble has lost her maiden-head, crackt in the Ring; She’s good enough for gaimsters, and to passe from man to man: for gold presents at Dice your harlot, in one houre wone and lost thrice, euery man has a fling at her.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Captain II i: To make you [...] Come to be married to my lady’s woman, After she’s crack’d i’ the ring.
[UK]Massinger Unnatural Combat IV ii: There is a kinde of a vaulting house not farre off, Where I us’d to spend my afternoones, among Suburb shee-gamesters [...] I have crackd a ring or two there.
cracked piece (n.)

a deflowered girl.

[UK]R. Cotgrave Dict. of Fr. and Eng. Tongues n.p.: Fille-femme. A crackt peece, [...] one that goes for a maid, (but is none).
[UK]R. Burton Anatomy of Melancholy (1893) II 159: One makes a fool of himself [...] a third marries a crackt piece.
[UK]N. Goodman Hollands Leaguer 68: There was not a Carrier that had a crackt piece, but she had coyne to exchange it, there was not a Poulterer that brought up a yong or tender pullet, but it was bought for her dyet.
[UK]W. Strode Floating Island IV vii: [A] lewde, crack’d abominable piece.
half-cracked (adj.)

slightly insane, not wholly balanced.

[UK]Mthly Rev. [Index] Half-cracked people, instances of, 155.
[US]Medico-Churgical Rev. (NY) Nov. 242/2: The fact is, a few half-cracked agitators have made sensible men shrink from every kind of participation with them.
[UK]Museum of Foreign Lit. Nov. 301/1: There’s something in the wild glare of his eyes that convinces me he's half-cracked at time.
[UK]Select Circulating Lib. 206: He was at that time one of those wild, half-cracked fellows who do foolish things with a grave face, and call themselves philosophers.
[UK]Littell’s Living Age Oct. 19: It’s my belief that fellow's half-cracked, [...] If his heart was not softened just now, it must be his brain that's going.
Whitman Specimen Days 104: Some good people may think it a feeble or half-cracked way of spending one’s time and thinking [DA].
W.P. Frith Autobiog. I 129: Who was what is vulgarly called half-cracked [F&H].
[US]M.G. Hayden ‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in DN IV:iii 218: half-cracked, lacking in intelligence. ‘Look at that girl’s outfit. She must be half-cracked’.
[US]C. Sandburg ‘Cornhuskers’ Complete Poems (1950) 144: Three times ten million men thirsting the blood Of a half-cracked one-armed child of the German kings?
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 342: half-boiled, half-brained, half-cracked, half-headed, half-wit(ted), head full of rocks.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

cracked groat (n.) (also slit groat) [SE groat, a coin worth fourpence; thus of very low value]

something absolutely worthless.

[UK]T. Duffet Psyche Debauch’d III iii: Oh the tumbling, and rumbling there was then, ... But now like an old crack’d Groat, whose stamp’s worn out, none will take me, they say I am not current.
cracked ice (n.) [joc. use of SE phr. + ice n.1 (3)]

(US) diamonds.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 78: I guess you ain’t goin’ to find no cracked ice in the chairs.
[US]C. Mathewson Pitching in a Pinch 169: [Umpire ‘Silk’ O’Loughlin] wears on his right hand [...] a large diamond that sparkles in the sunlight every time he calls a man out. Many American League players assert that he would rather call a man out than safe, so that he can shimmer his ‘cracked ice’.
[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 442: Cracked ice, Unset diamonds.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 56: Cracked Ice. – Diamonds, usually those stones which have not yet been set, or those removed from their settings.
[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 60: cracked ice Unset diamonds.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 795: cracked ice – Unset diamonds or those removed from settings.
cracked pitcher (n.)

1. a woman living between respectability and prostitution.

[UK]Smollett Humphrey Clinker (1925) I 76: For though my being thought capable of making her a mother might have given me some credit, the reputation of an intrigue with such a cracked pitcher does me no honour at all.

2. (also cracked earthenware) a recently lost virginity; thus crack one’s pitcher, to lose one’s virginity.

[UK]‘Blanket Fair’ in N. Thompson Choice Collection of 120 Loyal Songs 163: Where Wenches sell Glasses & crackt Earthen ware; / To shew that the World, & the pleasures it brings, / Are made up of brittle and slippery things.
[Ire]‘Teague’ Teagueland Jests I 61: Donnel was preferr’d [...] to marry my Lady’s Chamber-maid and received 50 pound in consideration of a crack’d pitcher [...] three weeks after, the Bride was delivered of a child.
[UK]Nancy Dawson’s Jests 36: Ye brimstones of Drury and Exeter-street / [...] / Obey the glad summons and quickly repair / To —’s new warehouse for crack’d earthenware.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: She has Crackd her Pitcher, or Pipkin, i.e. lost her Maidenhead.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Banquet of Wit 51: An Irishman, being preferred from a skip to marry my lady’s chambermaid, received fifty pound in consideration of a cracked pitcher [...] about three weeks after, the bride was delivered of a child.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 131: A gentleman persuaded his Irish servant to marry his chambermaid, and gave hin fifty pounds with her in consideration of a cracked pitcher.
‘Kitty of Coleraine’ in Vocal Mag. 1 June 179: Sure, sure, such a pitcher, I’ll ne’er meet again / [...] / A kiss I then gave her, and before I did leave her, / She vow’d for such pleasure she’d break it again.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.