atheltic games and contests, 1590s, from sport (n.). Meaning "sports section of a newspaper" is 1913. As an adjective from 1897. Sports fan attested from 1921. Sports car attested by 1914; so called for its speed and power:
I have just returned from the south of France, passing through Lyons, where I visited the [Berliet] works with my car, and was shown the new model 25 h.p. "sports" car, and was so impressed with this that I immediately ordered one on my return to London. [letter in The Autocar, Jan. 7, 1914]
Which is it to be? We observe that the London Times has lent the weight of its authority to the word "autocar," which it now prints without the significant inverted commas but with a hyphen, "auto-car." We believe that the vocable originated with a journal called the Hardwareman, which succeeded in obtaining the powerful support of the Engineer for its offspring. As for ourselves, being linguistic purists, we do not care for hybrid constructions—"auto" is Greek, while "car" is Latin and Celtic. At the same time, such clumsy phrases as "horseless carriages," "mechanical road carriages," and "self-propelled vehicles" are not meeting with general favour. Why not therefore adopt the philogically sound "motor-car," which could be run into a single word, "motorcar"? [The Electrical Engineer, Dec. 20, 1895]
mid-15c., "hard wafer," but the specific application to a thin, crisp biscuit is by 1739; literally "that which cracks or breaks," agent noun from crack (v.). Meaning "instrument for crushing or cracking" is from 1630s.
Coal-cracker is from 1853 of persons, 1857 of machinery that breaks up mined coal. Cracker-barrel (1861) "barrel full of soda-crackers for sale" was such a common feature of old country stores that the phrase came to be used by 1905 as an adjective, "emblematic of down-home ways and views."