from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thin crisp wafer or biscuit, usually made of unsweetened dough.
  • noun One that cracks, especially.
  • noun A firecracker.
  • noun A small cardboard cylinder covered with decorative paper that holds candy or a party favor and pops when a paper strip is pulled at one or both ends and torn.
  • noun The apparatus used in the cracking of petroleum.
  • noun One who makes unauthorized use of a computer, especially to tamper with data or programs.
  • noun Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a white person, especially one who is poor and from the southeast United States.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who or that which cracks or breaks (transitively).
  • noun One who or that which cracks (intransitively).
  • noun A boast; a lie.
  • noun A thin hard or crisp biscuit.
  • noun A bird, the pintail duck, Dafila acuta.
  • noun plural The parrots as an order, Enucleatores.
  • noun One of an inferior class of white hill-dwellers in some of the southern United States, especially in Georgia and Florida.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, cracks.
  • noun obsolete A noisy boaster; a swaggering fellow.
  • noun A small firework, consisting of a little powder inclosed in a thick paper cylinder with a fuse, and exploding with a sharp noise; -- usually called firecracker.
  • noun A thin, dry biscuit, often hard or crisp.
  • noun A nickname to designate a poor white in some parts of the Southern United States.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The pintail duck.
  • noun (Mach.) A pair of fluted rolls for grinding caoutchouc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US, pejorative, ethnic slur An impoverished white person from the southeastern United States, originally associated with Georgia and parts of Florida; by extension: any white person.
  • noun A dry, thin, crispy, and usually salty or savory biscuit.
  • noun A short piece of twisted string tied to the end of a whip that creates the distinctive sound when the whip is thrown or cracked.
  • noun A firecracker.
  • noun A person or thing that cracks, or that cracks a thing (e.g. whip cracker; nutcracker).
  • noun A Christmas cracker
  • noun Refinery equipment used to pyrolyse organic feedstocks. If catalyst is used to aid pyrolysis it is informally called a cat-cracker
  • noun chiefly UK A fine thing or person (crackerjack).
  • noun An ambitious or hard-working person (i.e. someone who arises at the 'crack' of dawn).
  • noun computing One who cracks (i.e. overcomes) computer software or security restrictions.
  • noun obsolete A noisy boaster; a swaggering fellow.
  • noun The pintail duck.
  • noun obsolete A pair of fluted rolls for grinding caoutchouc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a thin crisp wafer made of flour and water with or without leavening and shortening; unsweetened or semisweet
  • noun a programmer who cracks (gains unauthorized access to) computers, typically to do malicious things
  • noun firework consisting of a small explosive charge and fuse in a heavy paper casing
  • noun a party favor consisting of a paper roll (usually containing candy or a small favor) that pops when pulled at both ends
  • noun a poor White person in the southern United States


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Various theories exists regarding this term's application to poor white Southerners. One theory holds that it originated with disadvantaged corn and wheat farmers ("corncrackers"), who cracked their crops rather than taking them to the mill. Another theory asserts that it was applied due to Georgia and Florida settlers (Florida crackers) who cracked loud whips to drive herds of cattle, or, alternatively, from the whip cracking of plantation slave drivers. Yet another theory maintains that the term cracker was in use in Elizabethan times to describe braggarts. An early reference that supports this sense is a letter dated June 27, 1766 from Gavin Cochrane to the Earl of Dartmouth:

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the verb to crack. Hard "bread/biscuit" sense first attested 1739, though "hard wafer" sense attested 1440.


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  • Crackers are a family food - happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, I don't know. Frankly, I don't want to know. It's a market we can do without!

    October 21, 2007

  • More ominously, a white slave driver--the one who cracks the whip. Also used derisively as a term from someone from the South.

    October 21, 2007

  • I am single person who eats crackers, seanahan. Good cheeses and pate, too.

    March 16, 2009

  • I am a single person who generally makes his own crackers. I suppose that means I'm not in the market. For crackers :->

    March 16, 2009

  • You make your own, b? Impressive. What sort of crackers do you make?

    March 16, 2009

  • I used to like making rye crackers, but I can't get the flour up here. My current favourite is quite similar to this. I usually add some of my sourdough starter, more for taste than as a leavening agent.

    March 16, 2009

  • They look delicious. I want some!

    March 16, 2009

  • Make some :-) How did shave thingy go by the way?

    March 16, 2009

  • They look to be beyond my skill, honestly.

    Photos will be up on the site, soon. The colours did not come out exactly as I pictured, but it worked out well.

    March 16, 2009

  • Well, you know what they say, seanahan. All happy cracker families are boring as hell, while each individual cracker eater is fascinating in his own unique way. I'd say more, but I feel an attack of oblomovism coming on.

    March 16, 2009

  • "shave thingy?" What d'I miss?

    March 18, 2009

  • Australian slang for a funny joke...which led to an Australian comedy festival being called the "Cracker Festival." Be careful wearing the promotional t-shirts.

    January 31, 2010