Why was clemency trending last week?
mid-15c., past participle adjective from crack (v). Meaning "mentally unsound" is 17c. (cf. crack-brain "crazy fellow"). The equivalent Greek word was used in this sense by Aristophanes.
"split, opening," 14c., from crack (v.). Meaning "try, attempt" first attested 1836, probably a hunting metaphor, from slang sense of "fire a gun." Meaning "rock cocaine" is first attested 1985. The superstition that it is bad luck to step on sidewalk cracks has been traced to c.1890. Adjectival meaning in "top-notch, superior" is slang from 1793 (e.g. a crack shot).
Crazy; eccentric: You're cracked if you think I'll stay now (1692+)Related Terms
[all senses are ultimately echoic; narcotics sense fr the sound of breaking crystals or the cracking sound the crystals make when smoked]