Where Does the Word “Crawfish” Come From and What Does Crayfish Mean In Old French?

Either way you say it, American with w or British with y, the names “Crawfish” and “Crayfish” are derived from Old French crevice or crevisse, meaning “crab,” a term that then covered almost any of the larger crustaceans.

where did the word crawfish come from

And because of the propensity of the critter to navigate rearward, we have made a verb of the term, using it figuratively to indicate an attempt, usually conspicuous, to withdraw oneself from a stand or a commitment that has become undesirable.