mid-15c., "group of soldiers sent as reinforcements" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French crue, creue "an increase, recruit, military reinforcement," from fem. past participle of creistre "to grow," from Latin crescere "to arise, grow" (from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow"). Compare accrue.
Meaning "any company of people" is from 1570s; that of "group of people engaged upon a particular work" is attested by 1690s. Sense of "company of seamen who man a ship, vessel, or boat, common sailors of a ship's company" is from 1690s. Crew-cut hairstyle first attested 1938, so called because the style originally was adopted by boat crews at Harvard and Yale.
early 14c., "officer in charge of a ship's boat and its crew," from cock "ship's boat" (from Old French coque "canoe") + swain "boy," from Old Norse sveinn "boy, servant" (see swain). Short form cox is attested from 1869.
type of small whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), 1939, supposedly from the Norwegian surname Meincke.
The name minke is said to have derived from one of Svend Foyn's crew by the name of Meincke, who mistook a school of these whales for blue whales. Whalers all over the world considered this incident so amusing that they used his name as a household word to describe this species. [J.N. Tønnessen & A.O. Johnsen, "The History of Modern Whaling" (transl. R.I. Christophersen), 1982]
Also known in English as the lesser rorqual and little piked whale.