Green’s Dictionary of Slang

crank n.2

[SE crank, lively/crank (up), i.e. to crank up one’s bodily ‘motor’]

1. gin and water.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] ‘St Giles’s Greek’ in Sporting Mag. Dec. XIII 164/1: The cull [...] remained at the bowsing ken, cocking his organ, and tempering his fogus with a few flagges of crank and white-tape.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

2. (drugs) any form of amphetamine drug, e.g. amphetamine sulphate, methedrine, methamphetamine.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970).
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 99: If the music didn’t sound so much like the raunchier side of Springfield-Grape folkrock shot full of crank [...].
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 163: A little dope. A litle skag. A little crank.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Between the Devlin 125: ‘It’s a recipe for crank’.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 50: My brain got fried from snortin all that crank.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 47/1: crank n. 2 powdered speed.
[US]Detective K. Reeves ‘Dangerous Drugs and Their Effects’ on the D.A.R.E. page of Harnett County Sheriff’s Office 🌐 ‘Methamphetamine: Crank’ [...] Crank makes the user feel that he or she is in total control, very alert and energetic. These effects last for several hours even days depending on the amount. The human body can live without food and water for long periods of time, but the human body must have rest. The human brain without rest begins to short circuit, usually the user ‘CRANKER’ begins to go into paranoid episodes.
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 130: Haley had been strung out on ‘crank’ – the street name for crystal meth, a particularly toxic form of speed.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] He tapped with his finger and knocked a little crank out onto a brown plastic clipboard.
[Aus] D. Whish-Wilson ‘In Savage Freedom’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Starting with Sulphate back in the eighties, bog-standard Crank.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 40: [H]is father [...] had gone to seed because of the beer and crank.

3. a thrill of excitement, esp. when drug-generated.

[US]H.S. Thompson Great Shark Hunt (1979) 363: There is no real crank or elation in being a front-row spectator at the final scenes.

4. (drugs) crack cocaine.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 2: crank – cocaine.
[US]T. Dorsey Florida Roadkill 78: She and Coleman each dropped a Roofie, to cut into the crank.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 155: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Product. Crack. Smack. Crank. Chronic. Cess. Stress.

5. (inferior quality) heroin.

[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 72: When I left home I was just using acid and IV-crank.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 7: Crank — [...] heroin.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 47/1: crank n. 1 heroin of poor quality, ‘poor man’s smack’.

In compounds

crankhead (n.) [-head sfx]

(US drugs) a regular user of amphetamines; also attrib.

[US]J. Mitchard Most Wanted 15: I was sick of hearing about how much some crankhead fruitcake looked like Michael Bolton.
[US](con. 1998–2000) J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 58: Our neighbor in cell 46, a sunken-cheeked crankhead called Big Bear.
[US]C.J. Lyons Lifelines 184: His voice was soft, as if he faced a rabid dog or crankhead instead of one tired woman.
[US]F. Bill ‘Old Testament Wisdom’ in Crimes in Southern Indiana [ebook] He and his clan of crankheads.

In phrases

bathtub crank (n.)

illicitly manufactured methamphetamine.

[US]J. Stahl Bad Sex on Speed 33: You were geezing this evil-smelling grit [...] Bathtub crank.
cranked (out) (adj.) (also cranked up)

under the influence of amphetamine or crack cocaine.

[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 31: It was still unintelligible to the cranked-out thug.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 204: Drugs? Was he cranked up when he did it?
[US]T. Dorsey Florida Roadkill 77: It had taken them five high-wire minutes to get here to take her cranked-out finger off the trigger.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 18: To say that the Leather Cowboys were wasted does not even start to do justice to the royally fucked-up, pissed-up, coked-up, sideways cranked, pinned-down rolling mess of drugs and magic that shambled onto the small stage that night.
[US]J. Stahl Pain Killers 376: The fiends I’ve seen look pretty cranked out.
[US]L. Berney Gutshot Straight [ebook] Mad Ty lunged [...] was cranked up, or hopped up, or both.