1. a burglar.
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 50: No strange Abram, ruffler crack, / Hooker of another pack.‘The Oath of the Canting Crew’ in Farmer|
|Key of Pierce Egan’s Trip to Ascot Races [printed panorama] He had heard of Cracks, / Spicemen, Knucklers, and Sneaks! / And he longed to be at the head of a Party, To show his authority to lag or to twist.|
|‘Moll Blowse of Saffron Hill’ in Flash Casket 98: Vhen pigmen grabb’d me for a crack, / And sent me to the Mill, / Von voman broght me scran and shag, / ’Tvos Moll Blowse of Saffron Hill.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 6 Nov. 3/1: [heading] A ‘Crack’ Customer [He had] sneaked up stairs into his bed-room, and then and lhere taken, the liberty of applying certain skeleton keys to certain locks.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 20 Dec. 11/3: [headline] St Louis Detectives Capture Two of the Most Notorious ‘Cracks’ in the Business.|
|Sporting Times 1 Mar. 1/1: There used to be a regiment of the Line with so many burglars recruited into its ranks that it was called the ‘crack regiment’.|
|Truth (Sydney) 29 Sept. 7/3: When the Cracks tip in a crib, the / Kinchin if he nose ’is book, / Smothers up the way they entered.|
2. a burglary, a break-in.
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: His pall nosed and he was twisted for a crack; his confederate turned king’s evidence, and he was hanged for burglary.|
|Morn. Post (London) 20 July 4/1: They shortly decided [to] go to what is termed a ‘flash house’ [...] and bring out those who were to act as their companions in the ‘crack’.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 59: A Crack — House-breaking.|
|Paul Pry 20 Sept. 178/8: We shall be furnished next week with the particulars of the Cornhill Crack, when Williams lost all his swag, although pro- tected by Chubb's patent locks, which to the finished crackman are as much use[...] than if the premises were fastened by a piece of twine.|
|Yorks. Gaz. 4 May 6/5: The prisoner observed to her that he had made a fine 'crack,' and handed her some articles.|
|Mysteries of London II (2nd series) 369: I have got my own clasp-knife – a darkey – and a small jimmey [...] and blowed if it shall be my fault, should we fail in the crack to-night.|
|Bristol Bill 38/1: Bill was on the watch for a chance to make a ‘crack’ .[G. Thompson]|
|Wild Tribes of London 71: Wonder what Ned’s been up to; some of his pals have made a crack, no doubt.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 89/2: The morning after the ‘crack’ I told Joe that I thought Leeds would be rather too hot for us for a time.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 7 Sept. n.p.: Now that they have got him in ‘quod’ why don’t they [...] try him for that ‘crack’.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
(UK Und.) house-breaking.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: The Crack lay, of late is used in the Cant l;anguage to Signify the Art and Mystery of Housebreaking.|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).|
to commit a burglary.
|Sun (N.Y.) 20 June 2/2: Off. — Well, what’s going on? Con. — Oh, nothing of consequence since I came out — only a little ‘knuckling’ just to keep my hand in. I can’t find a ‘Pal,’ and you know nobody can do a ‘Crack’ without one.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 176: Dead-lurk a crib, or do a crack; / Pad with a slang, or chuck a mag.‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer|
|Twenty-Five Years of Detective Life I 50: It was hoped that the persons doing these ‘jobs,’ or ‘cracks,’ as we call them, might be brought to justice.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
(to go) out burgling.
|‘A London Ken-cracking Song’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 20: Upon the crack, ye need no doubt.|
|‘The City Youth’ in Out-and-Outer in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 139: His nob is never idle, or his daddles ever slack, / All day he’s on the buzz-lift, and at night upon the crack.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 145: And ever anxious to get his whack – / When scarcely ripe, he went on the crack.‘The By-Blow of the Jug’ in Farmer|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 137: On the Crack. – Out for burglary or other theft.|