Etymology
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Words related to crank

cringe (v.)

1570s, "to bend or crouch, especially with servility or fear," variant of crenge, crenche "to bend" (c. 1200), from causative of Old English cringan "yield, give way, fall (in battle); become bent," from Proto-Germanic *krank- "bend, curl up" (source also of Old Norse kringr, Dutch kring, German Kring "circle, ring"). Related: Cringed; cringing. As a noun from 1590s. Cringe-worthy (adj.) is attested by 1990.

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cranky (adj.)

"cross-tempered, irritable," 1807, from crank (n.) + -y (2). The evolution would be from earlier senses of crank, such as "a twist or fanciful turn of speech" (1590s); "inaccessible hole or crevice" (1560s). Grose's 1787 "Provincial Glossary" has "Cranky. Ailing sickly from the dutch crank, sick," and identifies it as a Northern word (this is probably from the vagabond slang sense, which ultimately is from German krank "sick"). Jamieson's Scottish dictionary (1825) has crank in a secondary sense of "hard, difficult," as in crank word, "a word hard to be understood;" crank job, "a work attended with difficulty, or requiring ingenuity in the execution." Related: Crankily; crankiness.

Ben. Dang it, don't you spare him—A cross grain'd cranky toad as ever crawl'd. (etc.) [Richard Cumberland, "Lovers Resolutions," Act I, 1813]
crankum (n.)

"a 'twist,' an eccentricity," 1822, mock-Latin formation from crank (n.) in the secondary sense.

crinkum-crankum (n.)

1761, "winding or crooked line; anything full of twists and turns," mock Latin based on crank, etc.

crotchet (n.)

early 14c., "small hook;" mid-15c. "a staff with a hook at the end," from Old French crochet (pronounced "crotchet") "small hook; canine tooth" (12c.), diminutive of croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook," which is of obscure origin but perhaps related to the widespread group of Germanic kr- words meaning "bent, hooked."

As a curved surgical instrument with a sharp hook, from 1750. Figurative use in musical notation for "quarter note" is from mid-15c., from the shape of the notes. Also from 1670s in now-obsolete sense "one of the pair of marks now called 'brackets.'"

Meaning "whimsical fancy, singular opinion," especially one held by someone who has no competency to form a sound one, is from 1570s; the sense is uncertain, perhaps it is the same mechanical image in extended senses of crank; but other authorities link it to the musical notation one (think: "too many notes").

sick (adj.)

Middle English sik, from Old English seoc "ill, unwell, diseased, feeble, weak; corrupt; sad, troubled, deeply affected by strong feeling," from Proto-Germanic *seuka-, which is of uncertain origin.

It is the general Germanic word (compare Old Norse sjukr, Danish syg, Old Saxon siok, Old Frisian siak, Middle Dutch siec, Dutch ziek, Old High German sioh, Gothic siuks "sick, ill"), but in German and Dutch it was displaced by krank "weak, slim," probably via the notion of "twisted, bent" (see crank (n.)).

The restricted meaning of English sick, "having an inclination to vomit, affected with nausea," is from 1610s. By c. 1200 as "distressed emotionally by grief, anger, etc.; physically ill through emotional distress. The sense of "tired or weary (of something), disgusted from satiety" is from 1590s; the figurative phrase sick and tired of is attested from 1783. To worry (oneself) sick is by 1952.

The modern colloquial meaning "mentally twisted" is by 1955, a revival of the word's use in this sense from 1550s (the sense of "spiritually or morally corrupt" was in Old English, which also had seocmod "infirm of mind"). Sick joke is attested by 1958.

crankshaft (n.)

also crank-shaft, "shaft turned by a crank," 1803, from crank (v.) + shaft (n.). The basic form of the mechanism appears to date from Roman times.