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Monday, January 7, 2008

On "Crib"

Gah! Can someone enlighten me how on earth the word 'crib' got to mean 'whine' in Indian English?
"I have been cribbing about blah blah blah"--how many times I have heard that usage and cringed!
'Crib' DOES NOT mean 'whine'. PERIOD. The way people go all eloquent "Oh! But I don't want to crib about it...". Bloody hell you don't!
'Crib' as a verb has two meanings--a) To confine, as if to put in a crib and b)to plagiarize or cheat. THAT'S IT.
Do you want to do that now, Ms Oh-I-speak-so-goddamn-good-English-look-how-sexy-I-am?

9 comments:

Aparna said...

I am one of those who used to 'crib' about a lot of things. I came to know the correct meaning of the word only recently

Puranjoy said...

Now there's a good girl :)

Sunny said...

Thanx for educating people in English its really correct many people use words without actually knowing the meaning

ArSENik said...

Crib has come to mean whining because of two reasons.

1. Babies live in cribs and cry a lot.

2. African Americans refer to home as 'crib' in Ebonics and since they have known to be quite vocal with regard to trivial issues like Affirmative action and slavery over the years, the word 'crib' has come to mean what it has today.

Puranjoy said...

@arsenik,
makes some sense, but still doesn't explain how on earth indians picked it up.
shouldn't that have become an american english usage given the connection?

Gayathri said...

Never knew that. :(
I've 'cribbed' about things so many times. :(

Puranjoy said...

@ gayathri.
Welcome, I can always use some European visitors :).
The usage is so prevalent in India that it would have been a miracle if you hadn't.

Gayathri said...

I am spreading your link like crazy! Everyone uses 'crib' to rant!

Puranjoy said...

@gayathri,
yes, I see loads of people coming over from your blog of late. Thanks :)