Where does the expression “to crack a crib” come from and What does it mean?

The expression “to crack a crib” is not modern slang.

In the cant of thieves, “crack” has meant “to break open” since the early eighteenth century or earlier, and “crib,” meaning “a house, shop,” was known to Charles Dickens when he wrote Oliver Twist in 1838, and was used by the underworld thirty years or more before that date.

Henry Kingsley used the full expression in the novel, Ravenshoe, in 1861.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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