saltatorial orthopterous insect, early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French criquet "a cricket" (12c.), from criquer "to creak, rattle, crackle," of echoic origin, with a diminutive suffix; Middle English Dictionary says the French word is from Germanic (compare Dutch krekel, German Kreckel). The earliest uses in English are in reference to the fabulous fire-dwelling salamander (perhaps from the notion of hearth crickets); in reference to the insect, by c. 1500.
open-air game played by two sides of 11 with bats, balls, and wickets, 1590s, apparently from Old French criquet "goal post, stick," perhaps from Middle Dutch/Middle Flemish cricke "stick, staff," which is perhaps from the same root as crutch. Sense of "fair play" is first recorded 1851, on the notion of "cricket as it should be played."
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