What is the X in X-mas?
Old English cran "large wading bird," common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon krano, Old High German krano, German Kranich, and, with unexplained change of consonant, Old Norse trani), from PIE *gere- (cf. Greek geranos, Latin grus, Welsh garan, Lithuanian garnys "heron, stork"), perhaps echoic of its cry. Metaphoric use for "machine with a long arm" is first attested late 13c. (a sense also in equivalent words in German and Greek).
"to stretch (the neck)," 1799, from crane (n.). Related: Craned; craning.
(Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7). In both of these passages the Authorized Version has reversed the Hebrew order of the words. "Crane or swallow" should be "swallow or crane," as in the Revised Version. The rendering is there correct. The Hebrew for crane is _'agur_, the Grus cincerea, a bird well known in Palestine. It is migratory, and is distinguished by its loud voice, its cry being hoarse and melancholy.