Green’s Dictionary of Slang

crack v.3

[SE crack open]
(US Und.)

1. to ask for, to demand; ext. as crack on.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ Life on the Mississippi (1914) 366: Cracked on such a rattling impost that cotton-seed olive-oil couldn’t stand the raise.
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 75: I’ll crack the yokels for three jitneys a head and take in nickels like a conductor.
[US]J. Tully Bruiser 214: If they crack a suit, he’ll lose to Sully – he’s that high geared.
[US]Smith & Gay Heroin in Perspective (1972) 109: He may hear that a certain dealer has a good bag [...] steer customers to him and then go to him later and ask to be taken care of for the service. This is known as cracking on a dealer.
[US]M. Agar Ripping and Running 142: Ask them, man, crack on them.

2. (also crack it to) to pass on a secret, to give information.

[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 175: It won’t be me that’ll crack about it.
[US]R. Lardner Big Town 184: He asked me for the tenth or eleventh time if I could keep a secret. He made me hold up my hand and swear I wouldn’t crack what he was going to tell me.
[US]D. Hammett Red Harvest (1965) 37: It was funny somebody i didnt know cracked it to me.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 26/2: Crack, to confess; to talk.
[US]J. Blake letter 2 Aug. in Joint (1972) 214: The pot is straight oolong [...] I don’t crack, I roll it.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 21: Them bitches that he’s got dealing for him ain’t never switched around on him and cracked him downtown.
[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 116: I didn’t crack on I knew.

3. (also crack on) to arrest.

[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 384: It’s what they cracked a banker guy for, he run away to Florida with all that loot.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Farm (1968) 50: Did you know that was the time I got cracked? That the Man swooped down on me.
[US]J.A. Juarez Brotherhood of Corruption 149: ‘I mean just about everyone on the West Side is slinging bags, what could be easier than cracking on the dealers like we do now?’ [...] 150: ‘One of these dealers on the streets gets cracked (arrested) an’ knows he’s in deep shit’.