Word Origin & History
O.E. crawe, imitative of bird's cry. Phrase eat crow is probably based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable; first attested 1851, Amer.Eng., but said to date to War of 1812 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London). Crow's
foot "wrinkle around the corner of the eye" is late 14c. Phrase as the crow flies first recorded 1800.
Indian tribe of the American Midwest, the name is a rough translation of their own name, Apsaruke.
O.E. crawian "make a loud noise like a crow;" sense of "exult in triumph" is 1522, perhaps in part because the English crow is a carrion-eater.