Word Confusion: Croc versus Crock

Posted August 31, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Watch which croc (or crock?) you put your hand in, lest you pull back with a stump instead of a hand!

Oh, yeah, my what big teeth you have, lol.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Croc Crock
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: crock; Oxford Dictionary: crock

A croc coming at us with his mouth open

“Koorona Croc” by (WT-en) Elgaard at English Wikivoyage is under the GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 licenses, via Wikimedia Commons

Three screw-top jugs, an earthenware pot, a pitcher, and a beverage dispenser

“A Collection of Bendigo Pottery” is George Serras’ own work and in the National Museum of Australia under the CC BY 3.0 au license, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a gorgeous collection of crocks.

Part of Grammar:
Plural for noun: crocs
Noun 1, 2, 3

Verb, intransitive 2 & transitive 3

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: crocks
Past tense or past participle: crocked
Gerund or present participle: crocking

[Informal] A crocodile Noun:
An earthenware pot or jar 1

  • A broken piece of earthenware
  • Potshard

[North American; informal] Something considered to be complete nonsense

[Informal] An old person who is feeble and useless 2

  • A person or thing that is old, decrepit, or broken-down
  • An old and worn-out vehicle

[Slang] A person who complains about or insists on being treated for an imagined illness

An old ewe

An old worn-out horse

[British dialect] Soot 3

Excess surface dye that rubs off from imperfectly dyed cloth

]Slang] A lie 4

  • Exaggeration
  • Nonsense
  • Smut

Verb, intransitive:
[British; of cloth] To give off excess surface dye when rubbed 3

Verb, transitive:
[British] Cause an injury to a person or part of the body

  • To disable or injure

[British dialect] To soil with soot 3

Get away from that croc!

“Croc,” she whispered, her eyes wide in fright.

Please. As if I’d stand around waiting for a croc to grab me.

The zoo has a unique exhibit of crocs.

The croc had taken him in a death roll.

The cabbage was pickling in the crocks.

The electronic age in which we use so much less paper is such a crock.

I love to collect those old crocks, using them as wastebaskets, planters, and more.

I’m an old crock and he’s an old duffer.

That old mare is crock.

That is such a crock of shit.

What a crock!

I’d love to be finding me a crock of gold.

Verb, intransitive:
No, don’t use that tablecloth. It crocks and will rub off on everyone’s elbows.

That red print is crocked.

Crocking determines the amount of color transferred from the surface of colored textile material to other surfaces by rubbing.

They did a lousy job of dyeing this fabric. Look at how much it crocks.

Verb, transitive:
He crocked a shoulder in the test against South Africa.

The chimney is crocked.

All the boys were crocked.

The color from his jeans had crocked on the fabric of the recliner.

The striker was crocked in a practice match.

Adjective: crocodilian
Noun: crocodile, crocodilian
Adjective: crocked
Noun: crockery, crockpot
History of the Word:
Late 19th century abbreviation. 1 Old English croc, crocca is of Germanic origin and related to the Old Norse krukka and probably to the Dutch kruik and the German Krug.

2 Late Middle English, perhaps from Flemish, and probably related to crack. Originally a Scots term for an old ewe, in the late 19th century it came to denote an old or broken-down horse.

3 First recorded in 1650-60 and of uncertain origin.

4 The origin is unclear, but it is often taken as a euphemism for a crock of shit.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Four-gallon Crock is Daderot’s own photography and in the public domain or under the CC0 license while
Nile Crocodile by Dewet is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license; both are via Wikimedia Commons.