Green’s Dictionary of Slang

crack v.2

1. in senses of collapse, breakdown.

(a) to fall into disrepair.

[UK]Greene Notable Discovery of Coosnage in Grosart (1881–3) X 45: The partie afraid to have his credit crackt with the worshipfull of the Citie, and the rest of his neighbors.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 18: You neede feare no punishment, but swagger till your guts cracke.
Dryden quoted in Annandale Imperial Dict. 615: The credit of the exchequer cracks when little comes in and much goes out .

(b) to collapse, to break down (emotionally); to cause to break down.

[UK]Wodehouse Clicking of Cuthbert 8: The strain was terrible and I am inclined to think that he must have cracked.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 112: We gave him the fourth degree. He cracked. He spilled the works.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 79: Kenny [...] felt that Frank might crack.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 81: There’s always a day, an hour, a moment, when a human being cracks.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 247: Black’s no more than any other junkie — he’ll crack.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 16 Feb. in Proud Highway (1997) 322: I think it would drive Beverly nuts. It is already cracking Sandy.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 8: Could Wiseman be so naïve as not to crack from the pressure?
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 168: I had to send White home — he cracked.
[UK]D. Jarman diary 8 Nov. Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 252: We have all endured the family row for two hours. A nurse finally cracks and intervenes.
[UK]Guardian G2 11 Jan. 5: Many have cracked under the strain of remorseless scrutiny.

2. in senses of breaking into, breaking open.

(a) to deflower (cf. cracked in the ring under cracked adj.).

[UK]Lyly Mother Bombie III iv: lu.: I loue a nut brown lasse, tis good to recreate. half.: Thou meanest, a browne nut is good to crack. lu.: Why wold it not do thee good to crack such a nut? half.: I feare she is worm-eaten within.
[UK] ‘The Loving Chamber-Maid’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 448: ’Tis a known Maxime, from ages long track’d, / A Chamber-Maid’s simple, unless she be crack’d.
[UK]Friar and Boy 21: Their maidenheads were crack’d before / By youthful venial sins.
[UK] ‘There’s No Shove Like the First Shove’ Ri-tum Ti-tum Songster 22: O is it not a pleasure, then, / Her little notch to crack.
P.C. Van Busirk Diary vol. 16 11 May q. in Jrnl Hist. Sexuality (2002) July 450: Another [officer], not so tender-hearted, seized the child [...] and ‘cracked’ her — as these Christian gentlemen themselves elegantly express it.
[US]‘Old Gingerbread’ in Bawdy N.Y. State MS. n.p.: We went up stairs and went to bed, / And she asked me to crack her maidenhead.
[Aus]S.L. Elliott Rusty Bugles (1980) 75: Andy; Never mind — she got her divorce. Keghead: I wonder if Mack cracked her.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 197: He comes out blood all over the front of him, singlet and all. Mum’ll think I cracked a maiden when she goes to wash this, he says.

(b) to open, orig. of a bottle etc, meaning to have a drink; latterly to open anything, e.g. a door etc.

implied in crack a bottle
[UK]W. Chamberlayne Love’s Victory 22: 1 tra.: Come neighbours, shal’s crack each one’s our Kan. [...] 2 tra.: Our Kans, hang the muddle horsedrench, Let’s drink each of us our groat square off. Brisk sack, this forain liquor but Adulterates our blouds.
[UK]T. Chatterton ‘Memoirs of a Sad Dog’ Misc. (1778) 196: After a noble dinner [...] when Sir Charles had retired, on cracking the nineteenth bottle, I ventured to open the business.
C. Dibdin ‘The Dinner’ in Songs 1 (1842) 215/2: ‘Crack a bottle, Mr Fraction’.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ I Need The Money 85: Suppose we crack a magnum of Pommery in honor of this victory!
[UK]‘Sax Rohmer’ Dope 185: How you two smarts can tell a domino from a door-knocker after cracking a dozen magnums gets me guessing.
[US]E.C.L. Adams Congaree Sketches 2: En ole Peter cracked de door an’ peep out.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 73: John crept out from under de bed and went to de door and cracked it.
[US]S. Longstreet Decade 307: Get the bottle I’ve been saving for my ninety-eighth birthday and we’ll crack it now.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 270: ‘I stuck a coupla bottles of beer in the frig,’ Sport remarked, going to the kitchenette. ‘We might as well crack ’em now.’.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 245: Chilly heaved at the door. [...] he managed to crack it a foot, slip inside, and close it after him.
[UK]Nova Apr. 90: The mean bugger never cracked one of those bottles for the lads.
[US]W. Diehl Hooligans (2003) 14: He cracked the window and let the smoke stream out.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 128: We would crack a couple of beers.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 5: Blue cracks the door, then gives way; Curt slips inside.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 168: He cracked a beer for Clay.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 11: The gang pulled into the side of Freedom and cracked the hood.
[US]T. Dorsey Atomic Lobster 61: Coleman and Rachael remained glued in the backseat, cracking more beers.
N. Knight ‘Not Even a Mouse’ in ThugLit Nov.-Dec. [ebook] Max dangled a fresh dog and cracked it.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Zero at the Bone [ebook] Swann lit a Craven A, cracked his can [of beer].
[Scot]G. Armstrong Young Team 132: A crack ma bottle ae wine n take a healthy neck oot it.
[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 14: [T]hey crack all the cells, sixty on the A and sixty on the B.

(c) to break, e.g. an opponent’s head.

‘Martin Marprelate’ Cuthbert Curry-Knaues Alms A3: Wee can cracke halfe a score blades in a backe-lane though a Constable come not to part vs.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: I cracked his napper, I broke his head.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 274: If you have even the good fortune to keep your peepers from being measured for a suit of mourning; your canister from being cracked; and your face from being spoiled among the low coveys of St. Kitt’s [etc.].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

(d) (also krack) to break open, to break into; thus crack a crib, to break into a house.

[Ire] ‘The Thief-Ketcher’s Song’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 145: The fourth is a mill-ken, to crack up a Door; / He’ll venture to rob both the Rich and the Poor.
[UK] ‘A Song on Bartholomew Fair’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy I 254: Your Damsens an Filberds, / Your welcome here to Crack.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: crack is also used to break open; as, To crack up a Door; To break a Door open.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[US]H. Tufts Autobiog. (1930) 293: Crack the qua signifies break the jail. [...] To crack a crabkin signifies to break a shoemaker’s shop.
[Aus]P. Cunningham New South Wales II 237: ‘Three peters cracked and frisked,’ made a frequent opening of the morning’s log.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 190: The crib’s barred up at night like a jail, but there’s one part we can crack, safe and softly.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 64: He touted Billy, like a rank old jib; / And split upon him, when he crack’d a crib. [Ibid.] 68: Thunder me stupid! if she didn’t turn snitch on him; yes, [...] She split on him for a crib-cracking fake.
[US]N.Y. Herald 8 Feb. 1/4: The dwelling house of Capt. A. Richardson [...] was ‘kracked’ by some burglarious scoundrel, on Friday night.
[US]‘Greenhorn’ [G. Thompson] Bristol Bill 40/2: He [...] told him he had ‘cracked’ something, no matter what — and he wanted to ‘smash’ a bunch of the ‘soft’.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: But at last he vas clinched, and bound fast in the start, / An’ for cracking a crib, he vas made for to smart.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 Nov. 2/6: He cracked a box in the landlord’s bed-room, and stole, or borrowed, some nuggets of gold.
[UK]C. Reade It Is Never Too Late to Mend 1 46: Do you remember cracking the silversmith’s shop in Lambeth along with Jem Salisbury and Black George, and – ?
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 11 Sept. 3/2: ‘Her husband [...] was lumbered’ for ‘cracking a crib’.
[UK]T. Taylor Ticket-Of-Leave Man Act IV: Never put off till to-morrow the crib I can crack to-day.
[US]Galaxy (N.Y.) Mar. 196: ‘Stutter Jack,’ ‘Glimmer George,’ and sundry others with similar improbable names, had arranged the preliminaries for ‘cracking’ the house on a night then some time in the future.
[NZ]Marlborough Express (NZ) 11 Aug. 2/6: Himself and his mate ‘had cracked a crib’ at Brighton, the Jeweller’s shop.
[UK]Cremorne I 26: Let Handsome Jack make it right to crack the Grange tonight.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 24 July 7/3: Jim was shot dead by Tom McCormlck, his pal, [...] in an argument about sharing the boodle from a Philadelphia bank they had cracked.
[UK]R. Barnett Police Sergeant C 21 28: It was not unnatural that his ‘crib’ should be, in burglarious circles, cited as an excellent one to ‘crack’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 148: Any hobo could go in with drills an’ spreaders an’ pullers an’ wedgers an’ crack a box.
[Aus]Register (Adelaide) 13 July 4/6: We’ve cracked a few cribs already.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 138: [It] makes me feel no better than those common ‘yeggs’ who crack a post-office safe or rob the till of some poor groceryman.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 24 Dec. 2s/3: I know of blokes who the cribs have been cracking all; / I know of the murderers, forgers and such.
[US]M.C. McPhee ‘College Sl.’ in AS III:2 131: If you receive ‘a bid’ to a party you ‘rate’ and if you go without an invitation you ‘crash the gate’ or ‘crack the party’.
[Scot]Dundee Eve. Teleg. 2 Aug. 6/5: The intelligent cracksman [...] uses his knowledge of the police beats to his own advantage when ‘cracking a crib’.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 11: They got a safe [...] that a baby could crack.
[US](con. 1920s) D. Mackenzie Hell’s Kitchen 195: One of the toughest nuts to crack would have been Maiden Erlegh, the residence of Mr. Solly Joel.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 212: These backstage operators have no difficulty in selecting a likely ‘crib’ and the playboys who are fools enough to ‘crack’ it.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 130: I wonder if Jeeves can crack a safe?
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 240: He edged to the door and unlocked it quietly. He heard Sue take a deep breath as he cracked it.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 96: I [...] decided to crack the speak as soon as the owner and his bouncer left.
[US](con. 1930s–60s) H. Huncke Guilty of Everything (1998) 266: I was wanted in New York for cracking a doctor’s pad in Flushing.
[UK]Observer Crime 27 Apr. 38: Last September, an IT security firm estimated that over 1,000 UK organisations had been ‘cracked’ into.

(e) to escape from prison.

[US] ‘Mount’s Flash Song upon himself’ Confessions of Thomas Mount 22: I broke my slangs, then crack’d the quod.
[US]‘Max Brand’ Pleasant Jim 58: Why, Pleasant, we’ll crack out of this place.
[US]David X. Manners ‘Fifty-Grand Funeral’ in Ten Detective Aces Dec. 🌐 So you spread the word around that McCann had sworn to crack out of jail.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 13: Few cons made any attempts to crack the walls with anything less than full strength.

(f) to work something out, to find a solution.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor (1968) III 435: I am now just managing to ‘crack an honest crust’.
[US]R. Chandler Big Sleep 81: The sucker list I spoke of is in code. I haven’t cracked it yet.
[US]J.T. Adams Mountain Murder 25: Will Haynes going back, a special deputy, to try to crack the strangest crime he could remember in the Bull Creek section.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 28 Dec. in Proud Highway (1997) 88: I probably won’t starve in the event I fail to crack the newspaper job market.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 28 Aug. in Proud Highway (1997) 351: I am at last cracking the language barrrier.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 121: Do you think it is too late for me to try to crack the big time as a Writer?
[UK]T. Wilkinson Down and Out 81: Men who pretended they had cracked the system.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 199: The clues are staring us straight in the face but we just can’t fucking crack it.
[UK]Guardian Guide 8–14 Jan. 21: He unravels a mathematical code that can crack the riddles contained in the stock market, religion, life and everything.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 373: ‘What about Marko’s flash drive?’ ‘I still have that. Let’s just hope it has something useful on it.’ ‘And that Lucien can crack it.’.

(g) to change money, to break a note into change.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 29: I cracked a $20 bill when I got into the game.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 83: Can you crack this cholly for me? Knock it out in a few double ruffs, a few sous and brownies.
[UK]C. Rohan Delinquents 5: He had to crack the pound to pay his fare.
L. Block Eight Million Ways to Die 25: By then I had only one of the hundreds intact and I cracked that into tens and twenties.

(h) to break someone down, e.g. during an interrogation.

[US]D. Hammett ‘Zigzags of Treachery’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 113: We better try to crack the woman first.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 112: We gave him the fourth degree. He cracked. He spilled the works.
[US]F. Brown Fabulous Clipjoint (1949) 107: He was going to give us another few days to crack Kaufman.
[US]J. Thompson Criminal (1993) 64: The kid’s teacher [...] was a pretty tough nut to crack.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 77: If he didn’t crack the two thieves into implicating the manager.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 105: In spite of what he was, the DI knew instinctively that Lewis would be difficult to crack.
[US]A. Schulman 23rd Precinct 60: ‘We’ve spent hours trying to crack some of our homicide perps. You use every technique to get them to give it up’ .

(i) to seduce a woman; there is no implication of defloration.

[Aus]G. Barry Bed and Bored 33: Lay off the onions if you want to crack a woman.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.

(j) (Aus.) e.g. in show business, to break into, to launch.

[Aus]C. Hammer Silver [ebook] [N]ine out of the first ten [hits] refer to a young girl cracking an appearance on a television talent show.

3. (S.Afr.) to arrive at.

[SA]P. Slabolepszy Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 17: We had this old ’48 Dodge. Real kaffir-taxi. Took the old toppie a whole bladdy day to crack Durbs in that thing.

4. to break a record, to surpass.

[UK]Observer Screen 4 July 27: I don’t have to write a speech or crack a deadline.

In phrases

crack... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

crack a bottle (v.) (also crack a quart, ...pint, ...pot)

to have a drink.

[UK]Shakespeare Henry IV Pt 2 V iii: You’ll crack a quart together: ha! will you not, Master Bardolph?
[UK]Fletcher Night-Walker III i: A day or two hence, may be wee’le cracke a quart yet.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 36 31 Jan.–7 Feb. 285: Then we will crack a Pot, if not a dozen.
[UK] ‘A Dialogue betwixt Tom and Dick’ in Rump Poems and Songs (1662) ii 188: Come, by this Hand, wee’l crack a quart, Thou’lt pledge his health, I trow.
[UK]R. L’Estrange Erasmus Colloquies 186: He and I have crackt many a Bottle together.
[UK]Cibber Love Makes a Man IV i: Shan’t we crack a Bottle first?
Comical Dialogue at an Eminent Tavern in Cheapside 2: Well met old Friend Tally — What shall we crack a Pint together.
[US]Spectator No. 234 n.p.: He hems after him in the public street, and they must crack a bottle at the next tavern [F&H].
[UK]Fielding Tom Jones (1959) 258: ‘What,’ says the wife. ‘You have been tippling with the gentlemen, I see?’ – ‘Yes,’ answered the husband, ‘we have cracked a bottle together.’.
[UK]F. Pilon He Would be a Soldier IV i: We must be good friends again now we have crack’d a bottle together.
[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Song Smith 85: If you don’t take a glass at my expense, dam’me, I’ll crack a bottle at yours.
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 93/2: O, how I long to crack a bottle / With such a friend of Aristotle!
[UK]‘A. Burton’ Adventures of Johnny Newcome III 142: Folks who after dinner sit, And bottles crack instead of wit.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 140: The length of time that had elapsed since our last meeting was sufficient inducement for us to crack a bottle together.
[UK]I. Pocock Woodstock I ii: Sober! pshaw — why I did but crack a brace of quarts.
[UK]M. Scott Cruise of the Midge I 180: Let us crack a bottle of Sally’s champagne.
[UK]Thackeray Barry Lyndon (1905) 207: I chose to invite the landlords of the ‘Bell’ and the ‘Lion’ to crack a bottle with me.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[US]Night Side of N.Y. 62: There’s a club-house, just over the way, [...] we’ll go across there and crack a bottle of champagne.
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville Katerfelto 138: Abner Gale [...] accepted his lordship’s invitation to supper, and cracked a bottle with him.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 12/2: ‘What is your name?’ ‘Susie Perkins,’ replied the frisky maid. ‘And where do you live?’ thundered the Judge. Upon which the giddy girl threw a loving glance at his Washup […] and said, ‘Ah! what’s the use of telling a steady ole fellow like you? You’d never step round an’ crack a bottle o’ fizz with me, would you?’.
[US]S.F. Call 3 Feb. 9/2: In the meantime crack a bottle of wine at my expense.
[US]Palestine Dly Herald (TX) 19 July 4/2: Then we hope and expect to crack a bottle of the very best.
[US]Wash. Herald (DC) 23 Feb. 14/2: About 150 are expected to break bread and crack a bottle in memory of Fair Harvard.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 386: I have just cracked a half bottle avec lui in a circle of the best wits of the town.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight.
[NZ]B. Crump A Good Keen Man 117: Jim cracked a bottle of beer.
crack a fat (v.)

see under fat n.

crack a ken (v.) (also crack a swag) [ken n.1 (1)/swag n.1 (1)]

to break into and rob a house; thus ken-cracking n., housebreaking.

[US] ‘How a Flat became a Prigg’ Confessions of Thomas Mount 22: Ken-cracking caus’d the blade to swing, / And ‘Jack tuck’d up was just the thing’.
[US] ‘A London Ken-cracking Song’ in Confessions of Thomas Mount 20: Sir Robert’s ken we meant to crack.
[UK] ‘Sonnets for the Fancy’ in Egan Boxiana III 622: And while his flaming mot was on the lay, / With rolling kiddies, Dick would dive and buz, And cracking kens concluded ev’ry day.
[UK]‘Jerry Abershaw’s Will’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 16: This popper cured the charley! vhen we crack’d the doctor’s ken.
[UK]W.L. Rede Sixteen String Jack I v: Now comes the grand spec; we go to crack a ken; Kit’s in, so’s the captain.
crack it (v.)

see separate entries.

crack (someone) out

(US prison) to open a cell and let out the prisoner.

[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 72: I go to meal and I come back and they had cracked out the worst kid, ‘Doggy Dog’.
crack the books (v.) (also crack a book, crack it)

(US) to open a book (for the purpose of study).

[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 100: I didn’t crack the book till two days ago.
[US]J.A. Shidler ‘More Stanford Expressions’ in AS VII:6 437: If a student gets a ‘smoke-up,’ a notice that he is failing, he starts to ‘bone,’ ‘dryball,’ ‘Phi-bete,’ ‘grind,’ ‘hit the books,’ ‘crack books,’ or ‘dust ’em off,’ which is to study.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 121: But I’d never crack a book. I’d be downstairs in the Pad every night.
[US]A. Baraka Tales (1969) 12: Phil’s cracking the books.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 236: I haven’t cracked book Two since last year.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 63: crack the books/crack it to study.
[US]R. Crumb Zap Comix 13 in Coffee Table Art Book (1997) 25: I cracked a few books, dropped out of the church, had a thin grasp of socialism [etc.] .
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.
crack up

see separate entries.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

crackbrain (n.)

see separate entry.

crack halter (n.) (also crack hemp) [the halter is the hangman’s noose/hemp refers to the hempen noose]

a rogue, a villain.

[UK]G. Gascoigne (trans.) Supposes I iv: You crackhalter, if I catch you by the ears, I’ll make you answer directly.
[UK]S. Gosson School of Abuse (1868) 30: Plutarch with a caueat keepeth them out, not so much as admitting the little crackhalter that carrieth his maisters pantouffles.
[UK]Passionate Morrice (1876) 91: It is a halting crack-halter, and a hurtfull hinderloue, and best he be knowne by his stumpe foote.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe IV i: Featherstones boy, like an honest crack-halter, laid open all to one of my prentices.
[UK]The Wandering Jew 63: I [a hangman] am hated, revil’d by crack-halters, scolded at by fish-wives, and oftentimes after an Execution, almost beaten to death by them.
[UK]J. Lacey Sauny the Scot IV i: Come hither, Crack-Hemp.
[UK]J. Walker Pronouncing Dict. 125/2: Crack-Hemp, A wretch fated to the gallows.
[UK]E.V. Kenealy Goethe: a New Pantomime in Poetical Works 2 (1878) 337: Crackhemp, Cullion, Blabber, Boor, / Vile bog-trotter. Whipper-snapper / You're a pretty god, I’m sure .
crack-rope (n.) [SE crack + rope; thus one who might stretch the hangman’s rope]

1. a rogue, a villain.

[UK]R. Edwards Damon and Pithias (1571) Fi: Away you cracke ropes, are you fighting at the Courte gate?
[UK]Appius and Virginia in Farmer (1908) 12: You cod’s-head, you crack-rope, you chattering pie.
[UK]Three Lords and Three Ladies of London C 1: I warrant, heer’s two crackropes knew him.
[UK]G. Peele Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes in Dyce (1861) 516: What, will you not flout an old man, you courtnold Jack? [...] You courtnoll crackropes, would be hang’d!
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 7: The fittest place to receiue so ignoble a Court of Crack-ropes. [Ibid.] 35: These cousening Crack-ropes, singing, hollowing and whooping, dancing and whistling.
[UK]Massinger Unnatural Combat II ii: Peace, you crack-rope!
[UK]Fifteen Real Comforts of Matrimony 81: A gang of crack-ropes had got an honest simple fellow once and made him believe that for so much money they would carry him to a place where he should find a stone that would make him invisible. The credulous goose agrees.
[UK]J. Wilson Belphegor IV iii: My boy — an arrant crack-rope, father’s own son.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[UK]Wily Beguiled 13: Why, Robin Goodfellow is this same cogging, petifogging, crackeropes Calve-skin companion.
[UK]W. Haughton English-Men For My Money C 2: Heres such a common hant of Crack-rope boyes.
[UK]Tinker of Turvey 71: His officious and most dutifull Crackrope Sonne Marmaduke.
[UK]J. Taylor Wanderings to see Wonders of West 16: The crack rope soldiers have broken all the bell-ropes.
[Scot]W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian (1883) 308: ‘Hark ye, ye crack-rope padder, born-beggar, and bred thief!’ replied the hag.
[UK]Royal Cornwall Gaz. 4 Feb. 6/3: The Bells [...] being faire and handsome, they cannot be rung because the crack-rope souldiers have broke all the bell-ropes.

In phrases

crack an egg (v.)

(Aus.) to have an abortion.

[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 36: Other synonyms [for an abortion] include ‘slip a joey’, ‘crack an egg’, [...] ‘need a scrape’ (which can be a curette recommended for other reasons) or ‘have appendicitis’.
crack a smile (v.) (also crack a grin)

to laugh, to smile.

[[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 13: cracked face, to have a To smile].
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ You Can Search Me 26: He didn’t crack a smile.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 136: An’ even Tammas an’ wee Billy couldn’t help crackin’ a smile.
[US]T-Bone Walker ‘You’re My Best Poker Hand’ 🎵 I looked at my hand and not a smile did I crack.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Men from the Boys (1967) 12: A poor joke that Ross didn’t crack a smile over.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 127: I cracked a smile and got up and yawned and stretched.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 26: Gwen had trouble cracking a smile.
[US]R. Campbell Sweet La-La Land (1999) 27: Younger didn’t crack a smile.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 16: When he didn’t want to laugh, nothing on this earth could make him so much as crack a grin.
[US]D. Hecht Skull Session 427: Mo cracked a grin.
[UK]Guardian 26 July 🌐 Stella hasn’t managed to crack a smile for me.
crack it (for a quid) (v.) [SE crack, to open, in this case her legs]

(Aus.) to work as a prostitute.

[SA] in glossary to J. McNeil Two Plays.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 7: She had been posted on the possie for over a fairy bower and had not cracked it.
[NZ]W. Ings ‘Trolling the Beat to Working the Soob’ in Int’l Jrnl Lexicog. 23:1 70: A streetie is a man who cracks it (solicits for sex) on the streets.
crack one’s ribs (v.) (also crack one’s guts)

to laugh uproariously, until one feels actual pain.

[UK]Cibber Careless Husband II ii: I am ready to crack my guts with laughing to see a senseless Flirt [...] give herself all of the insolent Airs of Refinement].
Glenn3 ‘Reviews of Sexy Beast’ at 🌐 Brilliant opening. I cracked my ribs laughing when the boulder hit the pool.
crack one’s whip (v.) (also crack the whip)

(N.Z.) to take one’s share or turn, esp. in buying a round of drinks.

[UK]T. Sutherland Golden Bush 166: You’ve carried it all the way up here and now you can crack your whip. Open sesame.
[Aus]G.W. Turner Eng. Lang. in Aus. and N.Z. 148: I have heard ‘Can he crack his whip?’ used to mean ‘Does he join us for a drink in the pub?’ or ‘Is he a good drinking man?’ [DNZE].
P. Newton Ten Thousand Dogs 85: When one did get a win he had to crack the whip. [Ibid.] 168: Crack your whip: To shout or stand drinks [DNZE].
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 31/2: Can he crack his whip? is he a good drinking man?
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
crack someone’s face (v.)

(US campus) to humiliate, to insult.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 3: crack someone’s face – prove wrong, insult, tease: I guess he cracked my face.
crack someone up (v.)

(orig. US) to make someone laugh.

[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 238: She used to crack me up because she really believed that I’d never go back to a man now that she was my lover.
[US](con. 1960s) R. Price Wanderers 36: Ah, you guys crack me up.
[US]Source Oct. 150: Crackin’ kids up with their gallows humor and tall tales.
[UK]Observer Screen 9 Jan. 7: She cracks me up.
[US]C.D. Rosales Word Is Bone [ebook] ‘Chaperone? You crack my shit up, Brenton’.