AskDefine | Define crock

Dictionary Definition



1 nonsense; foolish talk; "that's a crock"
2 an earthen jar (made of baked clay) [syn: earthenware jar]


1 release color when rubbed, of badly dyed fabric
2 soil with or as with crock

User Contributed Dictionary



Crock comes from Old English crocc, crucca, which means earthenware pot or pitcher. A written record of the word crock dates back to 1000 AD. It might have been the common Anglo-Saxon term for pot before 1066 AD.



  1. A stoneware or earthenware jar or storage container.
  2. A piece of broken pottery, a shard.
  3. A person who is physically limited by age or injury. Old crocks home = home for the aged
  4. An old or broken-down vehicle (and formerly a horse). Old crocks race = veteran car rally
  5. Silly talk, a foolish belief, a poor excuse. (short for crock of shit.)


  1. To break something or injure someone.
    "That last time I brought down Barry I crocked him. He's in his study now with a sprained ankle. ..."
    • 2007 January 3, Daily Mirror:
    Thousands of cars crocked by dodgy fuel
    • 2006 April 30, The Sunday Times:
    Ferreira ... peremptorily expunges England’s World Cup chances by crocking Wayne Rooney.
  2. textiles leatherworking To transfer coloring through abrasion from one item to another.
    thus producing a permanent, definite color thereon which will not fade or crock, and at the same time using up all of the coloring matter.
    Colored fabrics should be dried separately for the first few times to prevent crocking (rubbing off of dye).
    In leather garments, lining also prevents crocking of color onto skin or garments worn underneath.
  3. To cover the drain holes of a planter with stones or similar material, in order to ensure proper drainage.
    The pots should be crocked for drainage to one-half their depth and the plants made moderately firm in the compost, as already indicated...


Extensive Definition

Especially in engineering, a crock is a botched attempt or design to achieve something. An automobile with intentionally designed square wheels would be a crock. (Crock itself is a slang word meaning something which is broken down or worn out or which is nonsense.)
Most of Rube Goldberg's or Heath Robinson's unlikely machines were crocks. Because they were crocks, they were funny. In absolute contrast, there is little more condemnatory in an engineering context than to declare something a crock.
A kludge, by contrast is typically something that works, however clumsily. A kludge'd design which didn't actually work, will probably also be a crock.
The term was early used at the MIT Model Railroad Club, and from there moved to computing and into computing terminology.
According to the Jargon File the use of the word "crock" for dishware is connected to engineering jargon by the American scatologism "crock of shit" for extreme forms of what would otherwise be called bullshit.


See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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