also share-cropper, 1887, in a U.S. Southern context; from share + agent noun from crop (v.). Share-crop system attested from 1871. As a verb, share-crop is recorded by 1867. Sharecropping attested by 1936.
"portion," Old English scearu "a cutting, shearing, tonsure; a part or division," related to sceran "to cut," from Proto-Germanic *skeraz (source also of Old High German scara "troop, share of forced labor," German Schar "troop, band," properly "a part of an army," Old Norse skör "rim"), from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut."
Meaning "part of the capital of a joint stock company" is first attested c. 1600. Share and share alike attested from 1560s. The same Old English noun in the sense "division" led to an obsolete noun share "fork ('division') of the body at the groin; pubic region" (late Old English and Middle English); hence share-bone "pubis" (early 15c.).
c. 1200, "cut off the top of a plant," from crop (n.). Mid-14c. in reference to animals feeding on plants. The general meaning of "to cut off" is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "cut off a part of (the ear of an animal) as a mark of identification is from c. 1600. In reference to clipping of cloth, by 1711. Women's fashion crop top is attested from 1984.
With up, "to sprout, appear apparently without design from below the surface" is from 1844, said by OED to be from an earlier use in mining in reference to veins of ore or strata of rock, "come to the surface, become visible on the ground" (1660s). Related: Cropped; cropping.
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Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of sharecropper. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/sharecropper