Green’s Dictionary of Slang

crib n.3

[crib v.2 ]

1. a translation of a classic or other work in a foreign language, for the illegitimate use of students; also attrib.; thus criblet, crib sheet.

[UK]Punch I 185: He has with prudent forethought stuffed his cribs inside his double-breasted waistcoat.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 72: Those who can’t afford a coach get a cab, — alias a crib, — alias a translation.
[UK]B. Hemyng Eton School Days 41: He found he could manage his Long Ovid [...] without the help of a ‘crib’.
[UK]F.C. Burnand My Time 183: One boy took the ‘crib’, and read from it slowly.
[UK]Sheffield Eve. Teleg. 2 Aug. 4/3: Wilkins never said a word about honour in the crib business [...] he never misses a chance of sneering at it [...] Cocky Walker translated ignis ‘devouring element’ and down comes Wilkins upon him like a load of bricks.
[UK]Globe (London) 12 Oct. 1/4: [...] a wily ‘Heathen Pass-ee’ [...] who had cribs up his sleeve, and notes on his cuff [F&H].
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 10: criblet n: A translation or key designed to aid the student in recitation or examination. [Ibid.] 19: crib n. [...] A translation or key designed to aid a student in preparing or reciting a lesson. A slip of closely written paper concealed in a textbook and used as an aid in recitation or examination.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 83: A scheme he attempted, of having a lending library of ‘cribs,’ to be issued to subscribers.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words & Phrases’ in DN II:i 30: crib, n. A paper, book, or other means to be used unlawfully in a recitation or examination, or in the preparation of the same.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 212: I’d looked up the answer in the crib.
[US]E. Pound letter 22 Jan. in Paige (1971) 252: There is so little Sappho that that won’t take long, after you buy a crib.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 202: A book which gives answers, whether or not used legitimately, is a ‘crib’.
[US]Reading (PA) Eagle 20 Mar. 7/3: Examination aids are ‘cribs’ and things that students can’t find a word for are ‘twitches’.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS.
[US]W.T. Vollmann You Bright and Risen Angels (1988) 76: He’s making crib notes or mebbe playing pocket pool.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 crib n. To copy. For example on the bus on the way to school ‘Let me crib your homework and I’ll give you a pack of toffos?’. Also during exams either by furtive glances at the adjacent kid next to you (if possible you would try to position yourself next to the swottiest kid in the class) or assisted by crib notes (usually written on skin – for quick rub removal) or by crib sheets (small pieces of paper easily eaten if discovered).

2. any form of aid in one’s school work.

[US]Letters by an Odd Boy 3: He is [...] always well up in his lessons and scorns crib.

3. an act of plagiarism.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Dec. 9/2: He declares that the Marche Hongrois is nothing more nor less than a crib from the March Radecsky .
[UK]Sporting Times 11 Oct. 3/3: [of a musical comedy] ‘A dead crib from Sir Arthur Sullivan’.

4. (US campus) an easy course.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 3: crib – easy, non-taxing class.

In compounds

crib course (n.)

(US campus) a very easy course.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 47: A possible example of folk etymology from college slang is the development of the form crib course for ‘an easy course’. The phrase crip course had been well established in college slang for decades, formed as a clipping of a cripples’ course, or perhaps a crippled course.
crib sheet (n.)

1. (US) a police record.

[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 210: I want to see everything he’s got on the Matthews boy. Mugs, crib sheet, anything he can find.

2. see sense 1 above.

3. in non-academic use.

[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 255: Con Caramalides had supplied me with a magazine of bullets, which I firted at the required moments, working from Con’s crib-sheet.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 33: She worked off [...] craaazy crib sheets on the hubbies’ habits.