Word of the Day

Monday, April 22, 2013

crawfish

\KRAW-fish\ , verb;
1.
Informal. to back out or retreat from a position or undertaking.
noun:
1.
crayfish.
Quotes:
When have you known me to crawfish on a deal?
-- Victor McGlothin, Secrets of Newberry, 2010
I suppose I crawfished around a bit and didn't give him too straight an answer.
-- Gene Wolfe, Peace, 1995
Origin:
A North American variant of crayfish, crawfish entered English in the mid-1800s as both a verb and a noun meaning "to act cowardly," "to retreat from a position," or to describe a person who acts in this manner. Crayfish comes to English from the Old High German krebiz meaning "crab" or "shellfish."
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