Word of the Day Archive
Monday April 22, 2013
1. Informal. to back out or retreat from a position or undertaking.
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
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."