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Often what happens... particularly in the America's, craic is often mistaken for crack as in "I went to the pub lat night and had great craic (crack)" - Unsigned post by

...but when I was growing up, using the word regularly, I wouldn't have dreamed of spelling it 'craic' - it was 'crack'. I think this is a re-spelling to suit an Irish-American audience, for just the reason stated above. But maybe I'm just too anglicised. Ø- Unsigned post by

Yes, the original and correct spelling is "crack". The term has been hijacked by the Irish and renamed to "craic". - Unsigned post by

The word CRAIC is an acronym in the Irish language meaning:- Ceol(Music) Rince(Dance) Amhrain(Songs) Inis Scealta(Storytelling) Cainte(Gossip) All components of a good time Irish style! Retrieved from "user:peterwaters"

Thats complete rubbish, your article makes no sense, maybe you have something up your crack thats impairing your thought processes! Its an irish word and in its translation from gaelic has been subsequently spelt craic - Unsigned post by

The above paragraph is nonsense. If it was truly of Irish Gaelic origin, its English version would not be spelled C-R-A-I-C. In all probabilty, it would've been spelt criagh!

The site under [1] says this:
>n. v. entertaining chat, sport; to have fun. The Irish word 'craic' is the EMod.E loanword 'crack' < ME crak (often used in the pl., e.g., in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene (1590-1596), 'vain-glorious crakes', bk 2, canto 11, line 8) respelt to fit Irish spelling conventions. 'The crack was ninety', The entertainment was really good; 'There does be great craic in the pub of a Saturday night when it's packed to the doors'; Friel, Translations, Act 1, FDA 3, 1230: "Doalty: 'You never saw such crack in your life, boys, Johnston, Shadows on Our Skin, 111: "'I'm sorry if I muscled in on Saturday. Did I spoil your crack?'", Doyle, The Van, 165: "This was good crack. Sharon handed him the bag."<
Being university professors and all that they're probably an unreliable source;-) 13:53, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Use of Craic in North East of England[edit]

I'm from Tyne and Wear and Geordie speakers use the term in this exact same context. When they meet they will ask "What's the craic?" and state that something is "Bad Craic" if it is undesirable. I've also seen it written down, so I know that Geordies spell it 'C-R-A-I-C'. There's a magazine in Newcastle which gives local music/theatre/Film/Event listings and its called 'The Crack'. Worth mentioning that the word is used so commonly in North East England? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

The word seems to be common across almost all of northern England and to have been so for hundreds of years, so it's no surprise if it is commonly used in Northumberland. The spelling is a slightly different matter - the Guinness-Industrial Complex has deluged us with the fake Irish spelling of the word so intensively over the last thirty years that people in Newcastle and everywhere else have been fooled into thinking that "craic" is the authentic spelling when in fact it is our word, spelled our way "crack", and always was. Shiresman (talk) 11:02, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Borrowing by the Ulster Scots language[edit]

Examples of its use in Older Scots [2] and [3]. 12:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks very much for that bit of research! However, I notice that none of those meanings retain the meaning with which it's used in Ireland; namely, fun. Are you suggesting that those were the original usages or that the word evolved from those meanings into the word we have today? Blackcap (talk) 13:26, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest that the usages below for talk or gossip led to the modern meaning for fun. Talking and gossiping over a pint or three in a pub, crack initially denoting the conversation and news being told, later being applied to the fun being had while doing it.

5. A talk or gossip. Thow hes vs baneist, thow hes vs fleit fra crakkis; 1570 Sat. P. xxxii. 59.

6. intr. To talk, converse, gossip. Thir twa, of quhome befoir I spak, Of sindrie purpoisis did crak; 1573 Sat. P. xlii. 30. Quhan thay war at the denner crakand of mirrie matteris; Pitsc. I. 91/19. Ane claverand cohubie that crakis of the farie; Polwart Flyt. 637 (T). They tuik some curage, and begouth to crak; Montg. Navig. 201. Mr Andro eat, drank, and crakked merrelie; Melvill 144. Thes that crake behinde pillars … in tyme of sermone to be censured; 1649 Rec. Old Aberd. II. 34. Thair ware some honest women craking togither on a tyme; 1665 Lauder Journal 127. And after thou has crackt so crouse, Thy mountains do bring forth a mouse; Colvil Whig’s Suppl. ii. 48.

Modern Scots [4] has: Talk, gossip, free and easy conversation. A story, an entertaining or scandalous tale. 18:01, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I see no reason to think that 'crack' entered the language from Ulster-Scots. Although I come from a strong Ulster-Scots area - West Tyrone - the word 'crack' has been just as common use in the whole of Ulster - in other words in those areas planted by the English as much as those planted by the Scots - for at least the past fifty years. Cooke 10:40, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Since no-one since my note over three years ago has been able to defend the suggestion that 'crack' has an Ulster-Scots origin, I'm going to remove it. Cooke (talk) 01:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
The line you removed was sourced, to the OED. The OED says it entered into common Irish English from Scots in Ulster; clearly the earliest use in Irish English would have been in the areas near the Scots-speaking regions.--Cúchullain t/c 01:56, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Reverting over word origin[edit] asserts in his last edit summary that "craic" comes from the English/Scots "crack," rather than the Irish "craic." However, as I see no evidence of this, and some evidence to the contrary, I've reverted it back to the older version until this is cleared up. First, the Urban Dictionary's definition claims it comes from Irish, as do the other, less trustworthy sources I've found. I've seen it listed many times as an Irish word. I don't know if that's from systemic bias or not, but barring any evidence saying the opposite, I think it should stay as is. If there's a fluent Irish speaker out there who could tell us, that'd be most helpful. --Blackcap | talk 02:43, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I've contacted Stifle, who has a notice on his user page saying that he is a fluent Irish speaker. Hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on the issue... I've also left a post on the Irish Wikipedians' notice board. --Blackcap | talk 07:35, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
O.K.! Please see this discussion: Wikipedia talk:Irish Wikipedians' notice board#Craic origins? Blackcap | talk 17:00, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Everything I know indicates that craic is simply an Irish spelling of the word "crack" used to mean "fun" only. Craic is the only way it is spelled in Ireland now; I have not seen either version used outside of Ireland. Hope this helps. Stifle 21:31, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it's not spelled correctly in the areas of Ireland you're familiar with. In Northern Ireland though, it had retained the original spelling up until at least the 1990s. Not that it was written down much, which is part of the problem. -- (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
O.K. I'll add that into the article soon, probably tomorrow. I want to see if I hear anything more from WP:IWNB first... if I don't, I'll throw that in and churn it up. Blackcap | talk 23:28, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Followed on over here from Irish Wikipedians' - must say I'm not familiar at all with the "bad craic" version of the phrase. It's certainly not common here in Ireland. The ones most people would be familar with would be "The craic was ninety", which kinda died out in the '70s. It's been made famous by this song made famous by Christy Moore. That, and "what's the craic?" - equivalent of "'sup?", I guess - Ali-oops 00:51, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
"must say I'm not familiar at all with the "bad craic" version of the phrase. It's certainly not common here in Ireland." Actually, it's very commonly used here in Ireland. Particularly in Northern Ireland, where the word was retained. The word wasn't used in the Republic of Ireland hardly at all, until the 1990s. In fact, I knew a guy when I went to uni who was from either Galway or Sligo, who used to delight in using the word, because it was new to him; he loved it; it was his way of ingratiating himself with the slightly different culture he was living in. Never had any bad crack with the fella. :) -- (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
It would be great if you could add that into the article. No one at all uses it here in the States, so I don't know that much about it, apart from what I hear from other Irish-Americans. Do you happen to know anything about how the phrase came about (i.e. why it started being spelled "craic" rather than "crack"), or anything about the origins? Blackcap | talk 01:03, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Oh dear, perhaps I have been a little too bold. Anyway, I too am a fluent Irish speaker (at least on good days) and grew up in Dublin, and when I was growing up way back in the 80s it was always thought of as an English word and spelt in English. I don;t know when exactly the annoying (to me at least) pseudo-Irish craic started appearing in English, but I think it was around the time that crack (the drug) started appearing in America, and I've often heard it said that that was the reason people started using the pseudo-Irish form. Alternatively, it could just be a twee gaelicisation to try and make the whole thing seem like an intrinsically Irish concept and a unique and essential part of Irish culture. (I don't know why this issue annoys me so strongly!) Hope that helps and doesn;t enrage anyone, as most of my recent edits across Wikipedia seem to have. Palmiro | Talk 01:56, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I have heard "bad crack", but I think only from Northern people. Palmiro | Talk 01:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
That's really because it was retained in the North, and barely ever used in the South. It's kinda like the word quare, which can mean multiple things depending on context. "That was a quare day!", without context, is ambiguous. It could mean bad weather, good weather, a strenuous day, a strange day.. anything really. The word crack isn't really specifically about 'fun' in any case. That's just how it's been interpreted in the Republic in more recent years. It's really about a sense of community, a social gathering etc. Interestingly, a common hypothesis is that it comes from a mispronunciation of the word queer. I struggle to believe that, because I can't see how 'queer' could be pronounced 'quare' in my own Irish accent. However, given that queer meant 'strange' or 'weird', I can see how that might lend itself to that theory. -- (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Not at all. It's a fine edit you've made. Pseudo-anything intrinsically pisses me off, so don't worry about it, I can appreciate the feeling. I've changed "crack" back to "craic," as that's the more common usage, it seems, not to mention the name of the article. If we're going to call it "crack" in an article about "craic," then we should probably move the article to something such as Crack (Ireland). If it is more correctly "crack," then we should have a source on that, and change the article title. It would be a good thing, since you obviously know more about this the I do, if you could add in more about its psuedo-Irish past/present. If you don't feel like it, I'll try and extrapolate out something from your post, but it will probably turn out better if you do it yourself. Thanks! Blackcap | talk 02:09, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose "craic" is justified, although it is wrong;). Thank you for the kind remarks, mostly people have been saying unpleasant things about me lately ("1950s communist" I could laugh at, but "passing off Marxist analysis as fact" really pissed me off). I don;t have any firm knowledge or source available to me, and I'm a long way from Dublin now, in Damascus to be precise, where historical works on the Irish language and Hiberno-English are hard to come by. But I'll keep an eye on it and might have a look around the internet. Palmiro | Talk 02:18, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
That sounds grand. Don't worry, it looks to me like you're making fine edits. Enjoy your stay in Damscus, mate, and I'll see you around. Blackcap | talk 04:40, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Bad Craic[edit]

I've lived in Northern Ireland for over 20 years, and I've never heard the phrase "Bad Craic". Can anyone back this up? jamiemcc 20:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I've heard it in Cork and Dublin... Snoutwood (talk) 20:45, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I've often heard it in Dundalk and it's probably common further North as well. "That's bad craic" means "That's bad form", or "That's not acceptable behaviour." For example, if some one is cheating with his friend's girlfriend. antnix 23:02, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Craic origins?[edit]

(migrated from Wikipedia talk:Irish Wikipedians' notice board)

Can anyone shed some light on the roots of the word craic? There's some differences in opinion, it seems.... My Irish isn't nearly good enough to know, and I can't seem to find any definitive sources. Anyone who's got a copy of the OED or a good Irish dictionary who'd be willing to tell me what they find there I'd be most grateful towards. Blackcap | talk 07:32, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Its not Irish! Its a 16th century english word that fell out of use in England. Interestingly, an Irish friend of mine who lives in Dresden says that there is a german word with nearly the same meaning and usage. Seabhcán 09:02, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Great! Exactly what I wanted to know... Do you have a source for that, or know the original English word? Do you know the German word? Blackcap | talk 16:54, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I've fixed the article to reflect this. This is one piece of pseudo-Irish that really annoys me. Palmiro | Talk 01:41, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Nice edit. I've changed "crack" back to "craic," as that's the more common usage, it seems, not to mention the name of the article. If we're going to call it "crack" in an article about "craic," then we should probably move the article to something such as Crack (Ireland). If it is more correctly "crack," then we should have a source on that, and change the article title. Blackcap | talk 02:04, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Here's one ref - BBC and here's one for the German word That site suggests that the german word 'Krach' means a 'Crash' or 'noise', closer to the modern english word 'crack'. However, my friend in Dresden says it is also used to describe a good night out. Seabhcán 09:13, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
So what should we make of this? Filiocht | The kettle's on 09:31, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Just that it's been successfully imported into Irish :) --Ryano 10:41, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
And is therefore no more a "piece of pseudo-Irish" than hundreds of orhter loan words are. It is now a fully assimilated Irish word. That's language for you. Filiocht | The kettle's on 08:12, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I think when it appears in English in the new Irish spelling pretending to be a word of Irish origins, then the term "pseudo-Irish" is justified. Palmiro | Talk 14:38, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Moving back over to the left... I don't know. I'd say that that's part of what happens when a word comes into another language: it changes into the form that it would take in that language. The change from "crack" to "craic" is natural. If the reason behind that is to masquerade as an Irish-origin word, then that's slightly different, however, this change seems to be what one would expect. Blackcap (talk) 14:53, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the change from crack to craic in Irish is natural, but the change from the English "crack" to the gaelicised form "craic" in English usage in Ireland is a very unusual thing, and seems to coincide with a belief that the word expresses something intangibly peculiar to Irish culture (and maybe it does, but the use of an Irish spelling in English suggests that the word is of Irish origin, and lots of people now seem to believe that and it reinforces the belief that the concept is one peculiar to Ireland, despite the word apparently being in fact of English origin). Not sure, any more, if I am even making sense! Palmiro | Talk 15:35, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
No, I see what you mean: it's usual to have a word change when it's incorporated into another language, but highly unusual to have a word change in the parent language when the word is borrowed. Blackcap (talk) 16:21, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

(end migration) Creagh Cattle stealing and raiding is a possible origin. Krach schlagen to raise hell in German but I doubt that this is the origins 18:22, 12 June 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

External link[edit]

The vocative seems rather... unlikely! Palmiro | Talk 12:41, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, it does... I guess they just wanted a full set. *grin* Blackcap (talk) 18:35, 19 November 2005 (UTC)


Could someone knowledgeable add the pronounciation of this word to the article? -- stillnotelf has a talk page 07:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

As I understand it, it's pronounced "crack" (that's the original word, too), but I don't know the IPA well enough at all to figure out what it is in that. I don't really have time right now, but when I get a chance and if no one else does I'll add in that brief bit. Blackcap (talk) (vandalfighters, take a look) 17:13, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I added the IPA a couple of days ago. Iolar Iontach 21:58, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


OK I've moved this to Crack (slang) as it denotes how the word was originally spelled, and still spelled. According to most people who know about this word, and about languages in general, the word was adopted into Gaelic and re-spelled in accordance with linguistic laws pertaining to the Irish language some time in the 1980s. There does seem to be a movement to claim the word as originally having been Gaelic, but that does not mean that Wikipedia has to follow suit. Due to the rising in popularity of the Irish spelling of the word of course, references to that version have been left in the article, though I have copyedited it to reflect the original spelling. I don't anticipate any problems, though I'm not sure I'm happy with the word "slang" in the article title (even though I created it, for want of a better description!). The reason is because it is not really slang, although it is a colloquiallism. It would probably be considered a part of the Ullans language, and was certainly a bona fide word in Middle English. --Mal 18:04, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. That probably should have been done ages ago, although if someone would like to contest that "craic" is more common these days I'd be interested. I reckon that slang is as good a definition as anything; I certainly think that that title is appropriate. Blackcap (talk) 22:12, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad you agree with the name change Blackcap. I had been worried that someone might take actual offence. I do think that the craic version of the spelling might be more popular at the minute right enough. But I don't think that's reason enough to argue that an encyclopedia should favour that particular spelling - a redirect page (in this particular encyclopedia), coupled with a good explaination, should suffice. Irish speakers have informed me that craic was never originally a Gaelic word (and further to this, reading through this discussion page, it seems that I can add another one or two Irish speakers to that). Older members of my family have insisted to me that they had never seen the word spelled 'craic' until recently. Irish as a language, as I'm sure you are aware, is very much alive and therefore developing. To me it makes sense to include a word as commonly used as crack in the language. It doesn't make logical sense to me to use the spelling when communicating in English though, unless for specific purposes (as with Latin phrases, French phrases that have been adopted into English or are commonly used).
I have changed a couple of the three or four pages that link to the article, but I refrained from changing any userpages or discussion pages. --Mal 01:46, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, if "craic" is more common, then it may be appropriate to change the title back (see Wikipedia:Use common names and Filiocht's comments above). Sadly, as this isn't really an article I'm focusing on at the moment, I can't put in the needed research (but I'd love to get working on it once other things are cleared out of the way). By the way, you wouldn't have a proper An Gum Gaeilge-Béarla dictionary, would you? There might be some etymology in there... then again, maybe not. Anyway, it might be worth a glance. Thanks for the work! Blackcap (talk) 05:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
This is the English language Wikipedia, as such one would expect the word to be spelled as in English i.e. crack. It is of course necessary to point out that the word is also a loan in Irish with the nativised spelling craic, which is often used in reference to Ireland, especially pub culture. Using the Irish spelling of the word in the English language Wikipedia would seem somewhat strange. 15:46, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe. Depends on whether the Irish spelling has taken over the English spelling in common English usage. Blackcap (talk) 17:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Moved to crack (craic). Crack (slang) could be crack cocaine, gluteal cleft. Also dialect is not the same as slang. jnestorius(talk) 12:40, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
O.K., but could we have some discussion before we just go and move things? This page has now been moved twice, and this name sounds terrible. I'm going to go through the MoS and see what it has to say on the matter, and I"ll bering the results here so that this page isn't constantly being moved. Not to get on your case or anything, but please do talk before going ahead and moving the page. There are regular editors here that wouldn't mind talking it over first. Snoutwood (talk) 16:24, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I found nothing in the MoS that corresponds to an article such as this, sadly. My suggestion would be either 1) moving it back to Craic so that it's entirely clear what usage we're referring to, or 2) move it to something like Crack (Irish slang). I personally prefer #1, as it avoids the inevitable, "Well, it's also used in Scotland and by Irish-Americans, so we'd better call it Crack (Irish, Scottish, and American immigrant slang, also used by Gaelophiles around the globe)." Not that that's incorrect or the usage in Ireland comes ahead of the usage in Scotland, but it goes both ways and you can see how that'd be unwieldly. Snoutwood (talk) 17:02, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the point about it not necessarily being slang (as it belongs to dialect) is a good one. I had said that I didn't particularly like my own addition of (slang) to the title. Perhaps Crack (word) or something would be more appropriate. I would oppose a move to Craic for the reasons that I moved it in the first place. I think that should be left as a dab page. If anyone can come up with something better than (word), I'm sure I'd accept it. I'm not sure (Irish slang) would be appropriate because its not necessarily slang, as I suggested above, and its not necessarily only Irish. --Mal 18:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Right. Crack (word) doesn't work that well either, though. I'll mull over it and post here again once I've thought of something. Snoutwood (talk) 04:07, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
CRAIC should not be a redirect to CRACK as they are both diferent words, and should have a page of it's own. See my reasons stated below. 08:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
What's wrong with "crack (craic)"? football (soccer) is a precedent. As to "craic", that's not going to please Ulster Scots language enthusiasts at all (at all): first cross-border bodies, now this... "crack (word)" is worse than "crack (slang)" as it should include everything at the crack dab page. If people really hate "crack (craic)", then I suggest "crack (fun)". jnestorius(talk) 08:45, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Crack (fun) sounds perfect. Nice job! That gets my full support. Snoutwood (talk) 16:33, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm less enthusiatic: "what's the crack?" relates to "news" rather than "fun". Oh well, I'll live. jnestorius(talk) 16:40, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
My main objection to Crack (craic) is that the disambiguator, "craic," doesn't explain what it is, really. It's just a synonym. With other disambiguated pages, the word in parentheses says something about the article, such as The Fixer (Sacco comic) or Pigasus (politics). That being said, I can live with Crack (craic) as well, it's just not my first choice. It's better than where it was. Snoutwood (talk) 18:09, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. My suggestion of (word) was just that - a suggestion. I'm happy enough with it as it is I suppose (given the example of Football (soccer)). As with Snoutwood, its not my first choice, but its probably the best thus far. --Mal 19:11, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Irish language[edit]

Is there any need for the single quotes around the word Irish in the article? It seems to me that the single quotes makes the article appear POV. Whatever the origin of the word, I believe it has most definately been adopted into the Irish language and is most definately a genuine word. The single quotes makes it appear as though either the Irish language itself, or the use of this word within it, is somehow in doubt. --Mal 08:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Done. Blackcap (talk) 08:28, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

The word craic has long being in use in the Irish Gaelic language, and has this last 15 years entered the Hiberno-English language. My fluency in Irish goes way back to 1950's, and the word craic was used then, the word is now accepted in Hiberno-English and is very quickly spreading worldwide. It does not need quotes! 01:17, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Exactly right, I'm glad you think that. They've been removed. Snoutwood (talk) 04:06, 27 April 2006 (UTC)


I have replaced the following paragraph:

The Irish word 'craic' is compleatly different in meaning from the English word crack. Crack as used in northern England means to chat, gossip or converse, whereas the Irish word craic means great fun, banter and great merryment. 'Bhi craic agus ceol againn' : We had fun and music. 'Craic', in present usage is properly an Irish Gaelic word, and as most Irish people are bilingual, the word 'craic' has entered common English.


  • It contradicts the rest of the article.
  • Most Irish people are not bilingual.
    • "We had fun and music" is not idiomatic English. 'Bhi [sic] craic agus ceol againn' is rather twee Irish.
  • The author appears not to appreciate the difference between polysemy and homophony. The difference between "gossip" and "banter" is hardly "compleat". The OED considers the "fun" sense to have developed from the "gossip" sense; this authority carries more weight than the assertion of an anonymous editor to the effect that "craic is Irish, so there!"

It is just about conceiveable to me that the "gossip" sense was imported into Irish, changed there into the "fun" sense and was re-exported into English; but it seems excessive to assert this with no evidence. The alternative, that "fun" developed in English and was exported to Irish, seems more plausible given the use of "crack=fun" in parts of Ulster where Irish has long rarely been spoken.

I have also removed duplicate wikilinks as per Manual of Style. jnestorius(talk) 09:40, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Most people in Ireland are bilingual, and that is a fact. Irish language is studied for just about 12 years by almost all Irish schoolgoers, and that is fact too. Many adults lose their proficiency to speak Irish after some years away from school. Younger people useing this word would be more fluent with Irish. Actually CRAIC is a very old Irish word going back at least 1000 years. 10:11, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I am willing to believe you; simply cite a reputable published source for this claim. jnestorius(talk) 10:23, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

One can gossip and chat, but that does not imply great fun and great merriment! Craic implies a certain happy state of mind, and a certain abandonment too. 10:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
The fact is that most people accept that the word craic was a recent addition to the Irish language, and the word developed from the Middle English word crack. The word is used in both senses in Northern Ireland at least, and most people spell it consistantly (in other words, if a person tends to spell the word as craic, they will spell it that way for both senses, and ditto with crack). "What's the crack?" and "Aye - it was good crack" are both common expressions here (in NI).
We have had expert opinions here from a couple of people who say that the word craic has not existed until recently in the Irish language (possibly since the 1980s). The word crack has existed though, from memory, since around the 16th century in written form.
I can tell you that you are wrong when you suggest that "most people in Ireland are bilingual", and I have my doubts as to your suggestion that the "Irish language is studied for just about 12 years by almost all Irish schoolgoers". For a start, I know that Irish is not currently taught in state schools in Northern Ireland. So that's over a million Irish people that never learned Irish at school to start with - hardly "almost all". As for 12 years of it - that's true for the Republic, but I'm not sure about NI.. those that do go to schools that offer Irish as a subject. --Mal 19:26, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland(NI), it's not Ireland, and I reiterate that the majority of people in Ireland are bilingual, that is a fact. NI choose to be British back in 1922. Please make up your minds! Are you Irish or are you British? Or are you both? Really I am getting very confused and bewildered. Can someone please give me a glass of water? (Editor takes drink) Oh, thank you, that's better, I needed that badly!-- 02:25, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I've replied to this comment here, as the topic was no longer in relation to this article. Snoutwood (talk) 05:34, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I do apologize if I caused any offence to anyone, as Snoutwood says. It was 2 in the morning, and after a couple of beers in my local, I was just trying to have some craic, or was it to crack a joke, who knows. I do find sometimes when I say Ireland someone interjects about Northern Ireland being included or excluded, thus causing a secondary discussion. I was referring to the sovereign state Ireland. 11:09, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
No bother, don't worry about it. Snoutwood (talk) 16:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding 83 - that is the problem with the nomenclature. When you spoke of Ireland, in this context I took it to mean the island, and not the Republic of Ireland. I would still suggest that the Republic is not bilingual - only a comparitively small number of people there are fluent in the Irish language. As for your other questions, I'll drop you a note on your talk page as it is not particularly relevant to this discussion. --Mal 13:32, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

By no means, unfortunately, is half the population of Ireland, the country and island, bilingual. One would be hard pressed to find someone who is reasonably fluent in competent Irish. Now maidir le craic. Whether craic comes from English or Irish, no one can seem to give any substantial evidence other than I heard a yobbo in Belfast shouting it and what not. As soon as one person gives one citation, another one is given to contradict it: aimless bickering going nowhere. Whilst I was skimming through Athair Pádraig Dinín's dictionary "Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla" (a Bible among dicionaries)I came acros the word, creach which can mean a herd, or a plunder and so on. It may refer to a group of lads going out for the night in Sean-Éire, battering their way down a country road, for which the word creach would aptly suit. Considering Dinín's dictionary is pre-standardised spelling, creach and craic could be of the same origin, somewhere along the line...but then again maybe not... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The Craic (movie)[edit]

I notice that no mention seems to be made of the movie The Craic, details of which can be found on the following sites:

I will leave it to those who are more informed about the word than myself to decide how to incorporate a mention of this movie into the article, but I definitely think it should be done. Zerrakhi 15:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Craic from Craiceáille (from Craiceáilte)[edit]

I honestly believe that the Wiki-editors have got it plain downright wrong with their analysis to the origins of the word craic. How many of these editors have remotely studied the Irish language, few I guess. Therefore, I am really just putting these facts out for the moment to see what some of the other editors think, or may add. A Craiceáille (Irish)(pronounced crack-all-ie) is a person (for want of better description) who over-indulges in foolishness or silly lighthearted behaviour, and sometimes to their own detriment. The word has lost common usage this last 20 years or so, but I believe Craiceáille to be the origin of the word Craic and not what it states in the main article. Your thoughts welcome. Red blaze 00:38, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Can you provide sources other than your own to back that up? Wikipedia:No original research? 14:26, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
That's part of the overall problem of the Craic page, there are no worthy citations on it at present, just links to various dictionaries, which quite candidly don't amount to or prove much about this relatively new word. Red blaze 15:33, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I take it you don't think much of the scholorship behind, for example, The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, The Scottish National Dictionary [5] or that of Professor Dolan [6]? 21:33, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Red blaze has a good point here. What would a Craiceáille have most? A Craiceáille would have Craic of course. I grew up with this word, when visitors to Ireland would almost faint at the suggestion of "having some craic". 14:45, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Good or not Red blaze seems to be the only person who has produced such an explanation. Have previous scholars overseen something and got it terribly wrong?
I suggest Red blaze get in touch with Professor Dolan here so as to help enlighten the world. 10:11, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Professor Dolan is London born and English schooling, does he understand Irish language? Red blaze 20:47, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the article should be written from this standpoint. Personal opinion, obviously, but to suggest that "craic" is a galicization of "crack" is a bit far fetched. Seeing as the English were (and have always) been hell-bent on making non-english things english, it seems much more plausible that Craic was Anglicized to Crack. It makes much more historical sense, and it fits in well with Craiceáille. Rowlan 02:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Use o the word crack in England and Scotland from places unlikely to have had contact with Irish, or use predating possible contact with Irish tends to suggest that it is not the case. Secondly would the historical phonological development of both crack and craiceáille fit? All the same, this is Wikipedia so don't let facts get in the way of a good article. 13:04, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Professor Dolan has commented on his website about the suggestion that crack may have its origins in Craiceáille:
"TPD: The spelling 'craic' is a false creation, untenably authenticated in O Donaill's Focloir Gaeilge-Bearla, first published in 1978, p. 37. The ultimate form is Anglo-Saxon 'cracian', to make a sharp sound, then extended to cover making sounds of an entertaining nature. Neither craic nor craiceailte appears in O'Brien's Irish-English Dictionary, or O'Reilly's of 1877, 1832, Dinneen, 1927, or the RIA Dictionary of the Irish Language, 1983."
But once again, don't let academia get in the way of a good article. 09:07, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, as in all matters, there is academia to contradict academia. Another suggested origin of the word craic comes from the Irish phrase "Ag buaileadh craicinn", translated to anything as "making love" to "fucking", (literally meaning at the slapping of skin) and of course the craic in one form or another is indeed to be had whilst at the slapping of skin...

I also always assumed a link to craiceann (skin or skinned). We have the phrase "craiceann a chur ar scéal" to "embroider" the story, such as craicáille would inevitably do. Anecdotally a link between the ancient sport of skinning captives alive has been suggested to me in the past, but no doubt this is entirely fanciful. And yet it does resonate with the sometimes mischievous aspect of the craic as practised over here - i.e. the tall tales, wind-ups and tormenting people to see if you can make them lose their cool. Helvetius (talk) 16:05, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Removed Story[edit]

  • Removed story about craic, as Wikipedia is not a collection of stories, but an encyclopedia. PMC 19:20, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

craic, it is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER CRACK!!!!![edit]

ok, being irish, and intelligent, and only english speaking i can easily say that the word is never ever spelt 'crack'!! if it is spelt this way it doesnt mean craic as in fun at all. anyone who spells it 'crack' is wrong and this is a spelling mistake. if i wrote 'fion', pronounced like 'fun' it wouldnt count, so why let stupid english speakers ruin a lovely language by using the wrong words! why cant this b changed??Daniel625 21:29, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Daniel1625 is just plain wrong: Brian Friel, Translations, Act 1, FDA 3, 1230: "Doalty: 'You never saw such crack in your life, boys'"; Jennifer Johnston, Shadows on Our Skin, 111: "'I'm sorry if I muscled in on Saturday. Did I spoil your crack?'"; Doyle, The Van, 165: "This was good crack. Sharon handed him the bag."Cooke 21:28, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

When one uses English words in English one tends to write English words in the English manner if you get my drift. It is also common for languages to borrow words from other languages and respell them according to their own orthographic conventions. Difficult to lift or what? 16:43, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Use by Charles Dickens[edit]

Dickens used 'crack' to mean better / superior / amazing in Great Expectations, published in 1860. He may have got it from the original (book) about Tom and Jerry, Pierce Egan's Life in London (1820-21); Egan was an Irish writer. 'Craic' spelled as such is a neologism, and so what? - all words started somewhere. Not used in my Irish lessons in the 1960s.Red Hurley 16:54, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Dickens almost certainly didn't learn that sense of the word "crack" from Egan; it's in OED (which defines it as meaning "Pre-eminent, superexcellent, ‘first-class’") with the earliest citation being from 1793 in Arthur Young's Annals of Agriculture. The citation glosses "crack" as a provincial term used in Suffolk to mean "excellent." (talk) 19:03, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Expand, merge or redirect[edit]

This page appears to be an exceptionally well-written and detailed dictionary definition. Unfortunately, that is something which Wikipedia is not. It explains the meaning, origins and usage of two spellings of a word. Options to fix it include:

  1. Expand the page with encyclopedic content - that is, content that goes well beyond the merely lexical.
  2. Redirect the page to a more general page Irish slang (if such a page exists).
  3. Replace the current contents with a soft-redirect to one of the Wiktionary pages (usually done using the {{wi}} template).

I'm inclined toward option 3 (after moving some of this content over to the Wiktionary pages, of course). Rossami (talk) 22:00, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Anything in Category:Words could arguably be moved to Wiktionary., but I don't think that's a good idea in general or in this particular case. See Wikipedia:Articles about words. (2) is the worst option: the Hiberno-English article is an unholy mess where I fear to tread. jnestorius(talk) 14:07, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't think it should be moved. Like many nouns, it refers to a particular, unique concept. (cf 'whale', 'tuberculosis', 'renaissance' .) Many nouns are more at home in an encyclopedia than in a dictionary. This is one of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cooke (talkcontribs) 21:16, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Then it needs to be expanded. Whale discusses far more than just the meaning, origins and usage of a word for large aquatic mammals. Rossami (talk) 00:39, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
It's fine the way it is. I've just put back Charles Dickens' use of it because he is suitable for an encyclopedia. (talk) 16:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
You've added another dictionary definition about a word that happens to be spelled and pronounced the same way. "Crack" as in regiment is completely unrelated to "craic" as in fun. No one disputes that the word exists or that your definition is untrue - it's just unrelated to the encyclopedic topic.
This is a great example of why this page does not belong here in Wikipedia. It is dictionary entry written in prose. It describes the meanings, usages and origins of a word. There is still no encyclopedic content on this page. Rossami (talk) 17:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
No. Wikipedia/wiktionary policy is to leave existing substantial articles on words on Wikpedia. See, for example Thou.
Cooke (talk) 10:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
There's absolutely no such policy. The article is a dictionary definition and usage of a term; there is an explicit policy against this kind of article.- Wolfkeeper 19:01, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
The article can't be expanded, it's defined wrongly to be in the encyclopedia.- Wolfkeeper 19:01, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
This conversation was started a year and a half ago; things may have changed since then. But the article certainly could be expanded, and would be worth keeping.--Cúchullain t/c 20:37, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
In what way could it be expanded?- Wolfkeeper 20:46, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
The crack/craic has become hugely important in Irish culture, music, and of course, tourism. Lots of potential sources to use.[7]--Cúchullain t/c 20:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
So, basically, you're saying you should add more examples of usages? How does that make it not a dictionary entry?- Wolfkeeper 22:06, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Cassidy and Dwelly[edit]

I made the sentence on Dwelly more precise, and left it in until a consensus is arrived at, but that book by Daniel Cassidy is, on the whole, a pile of claptrap, where he takes words and phrases and essentially postulates their origin in Irish on the basis that something in Irish sounds vaguely similar, and nothing else. The 'cnacair' is a point in case: Dwelly suggests nothing of the sort, simply showing that the Gaelic word cnacair/cracaire (and pronounced 'cracker' more or less) means talker. But guess what? Cracker means 'talker' in Scots as well, and has cognates in other Germanic languages, unlike Gaelic. Cripipper (talk) 20:05, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Moved to Craic[edit]

User:Thumperward has moved this from Crack (craic) to Craic, and then added an inappropriate {{R for convenience}} tag which, as it happens, prevents anyone from moving it back. jnestorius(talk) 22:11, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't prevent the article from being moved actually, it just means that a requested move will be needed rather than move warring. And the tag looks fairly appropriate to me, as no one calls it "crack (craic)", but since the article was located there for so long that it would be unproductive to delete it. At any rate the craic spelling has made it into the OED, so there's no further room for arguing against it as incorrect or not a real English word (there is, of course, still room to argue that it is derived from provincial misinformation, but that doesn't get us very far ;) ).--Cúchullain t/c 13:23, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
"At any rate the craic spelling has made it into the OED, so there's no further room for arguing against it as incorrect or not a real English word".... This non-sequitur suggests that you have no notion of how the OED works, Cúchullain. Cooke (talk) 22:14, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
How so? Like any dictionary of English, the OED does not tell people how they should use words, it reports how they do use them (much as we do with our encyclopedia articles). Once a word starts appearing in dictionaries, it's a good indication that they are established in the language. Of course, whether "craic" or "crack" is the more common form is a different matter.--Cúchullain t/c 01:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


I removed some of the newly added material referring to two dictionaries, by Dineen and Newnes, pending additional discussion. First, no direct citations are given, so it's impossible to vet the material. Second, they are very old and seem to contradict what appears in the more authoritative and up-to-date OED. Third, it appears they are being used as primary source examples to imply something new about the subject, which violates WP:SYNTH. This bears further discussion. I also removed the "dictionary definition" tag, as this article is clearly more than a dictionary definition, and can easily be expanded with encyclopedic material.--Cúchullain t/c 19:50, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

If it can, go ahead, but it can't so you won't.- Wolfkeeper 20:58, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Cuchullain so I will. --NeilN talk to me 21:12, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
It appears that there is a clear consensus that this article is more than a mere dictionary definition, and that the tag Wolfkeeper tries to keep adding is misplaced, judging by the amount of times said tag has been removed by various editors. Please stop adding it, Wolfkeeper, it's getting disruptive.--Cúchullain t/c 21:21, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
It actually doesn't matter if it is more than 'a mere' dictionary definition. That's not the policy. The policy is that articles aren't about terms, they have to be about the underlying topic. But the underlying topic here is fun, so it's a wp:content fork already.- Wolfkeeper 22:13, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Nice try but the underlying topic is the word, as in the "word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic subject". --NeilN talk to me 22:53, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
And now you're edit warring to remove that from policy [8]. Well done. --NeilN talk to me 03:12, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Wolfkeeper's weird crusade against articles on words has caused him to overlook the crucial fact that this article isn't only about the word itself, it's about the concept, as evinced by lines like "the craic has great cultural currency and significance in Ireland." And as I have pointed out before, it can easily be expanded to include more sociological information, despite his strident claims that such a thing can't be done. So even by his overstrict definition his case fails. Time to move on.--Cúchullain t/c 12:52, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
The definition of encyclopedic that is used in Encyclopedia and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary is that you can translate the entire article including the title into a different language. You can't do that here, because Craic simply translates as fun, and we already have an article on fun, as would any other encyclopedia. That's because it's not encyclopedic. Encyclopedic articles are 'is' rather than 'is a term for'; dictionaries only do the latter. This is a dictionary article.- Wolfkeeper 19:14, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
It is clear you know nothing of the subject. I've always said that this article is (or at least should be) about the concept, and not just the word. I've added a bit more about the concept, rather than the word. Easily done, more to follow.--Cúchullain t/c 15:55, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
In an encyclopedia the topic of the article is defined by the first sentence or so. The first sentences read: "Craic or crack is a term for fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.[1][2] It is often used with the definite article – the craic.[1] The word has an unusual history; the form craic was borrowed into Irish from the English crack in the mid-20th century, and the Irish spelling was then reborrowed into English. Under either spelling, the craic has great cultural currency and significance in Ireland." This fairly and squarely points the article topic as being about the word, the history of the word, and the usages of the word. Your own writing is explicitly making it a dictionary/word topic article.- Wolfkeeper 16:25, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
But the article goes on to discuss the concept behind the word - e.g. "Under either spelling, the craic has great cultural currency and significance in Ireland." As far as I can see, it is far more than a dictionary definition, and does not fall foul of WP:NOTDIC - although I agree that the opening sentences could be written in a way that makes this clearer. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 16:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Having that extremely limited amount is not in the spirit of any encyclopedia.- Wolfkeeper 20:32, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, you're all wrong. The article is indeed about the word "craic"; that's why it's in Category:English words. The fact that such a category exists disproves Wolfkeeper's contention that articles about words are prohibited (unless Wolfkeeper proposes to delete every article in Category:Words). The half-baked edits attempting to extend this article to The Importance Of Craic In Irish Culture are misplaced. Try Tourism Ireland, Culture of Ireland, Public houses in Ireland, and/or Stage Irish instead. jnestorius(talk) 15:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Careful here. The category is for articles on topics associated with English words, rather than articles that are primarily about English words.- Wolfkeeper 15:35, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
It is true that the article is (mostly) about the word "craic" currently. And that's fine; the history of the word itself is the most interesting thing about it. But there is certainly room for information on the concept too, I would think, even if preliminary attempts are "half-baked" or "misplaced". Just in my cursory search I found quite a bit of interesting material, dealing with craic both in terms of people just liking to sit around talking, and in terms of a commodified good time bottled for touristic consumption.
In other words, Wolfkeeper is wrong in saying that articles on words are always forbidden. But this particular article can easily be expanded to include further information on the concept, so it wouldn't matter even if he were right.--Cúchullain t/c 15:58, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I know what you're trying to do, but trust me, it works badly here, you're really killing this article by writing it like this. In the Wikipedia the first sentence or two defines the topic. If the topic is about the concept, then you're allowed to mention and even define associated words as well. What you can't do is define the topic to be about the word. So you can say "In Irish culture, a craic is a type of fun that is usually social in character", and you can then later talk about the term craic. Doing that; the thing is that you're defining craic not the word craic; that's OK, but starting with "Craic is a word that means..." is defining the word. It may sound trivial, but it actually puts a completely different slant on the whole article. If you do it the way I indicate (i.e. as it tells you to do in WP:LEAD) then generally you end up with an encyclopedic tone and you end up adding stuff about famous craics more and less about times that people mentioned the word craic in writing or whatever. People are supposed to read an encyclopedia article like this one to find out about craics not to find out about words. Words are important as well, but not the point of this place; in general dictionaries are much better for words.- Wolfkeeper 00:58, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Wolfkeeper, I think most of us already understand the use–mention distinction. "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" does not imply "Wikipedia does not have articles about words". Most but not all words are non-notable, just as most but not all people are non-notable. A few of each are notable enough to merit articles. You have not succeeded in this Talk page or on Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not a dictionary in elaborating any useful distinction between "article about a word" and "article associated with a word" other than that you allow the latter but not the former. Is there any Wikipedia article not "associated with a word"? jnestorius(talk) 09:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I suppose one way to think about it is that this is currently an article about a word that has information on the attached concept (and the possibility of more). It could be rewritten into an article about a concept that has information on the word; however, no one besides Wolfkeeper has expressed any problem with the current setup. At any rate, neither of these treatments is really a dictionary entry, as they contain more than a dictionary would.--Cúchullain t/c 14:29, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I tried to rewrite it, but you reverted me, repeatedly. Now you're saying it could be rewritten that way, but instead you're trying to rewrite the policies of the wikipedia. Yeah, real smooth move. What could go wrong? Let's break the wikipedia by fucking up the policies too. You make me sick.- Wolfkeeper 03:44, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I've said repeatedly that we could rewrite the article easily, but that no one besides you has any problem with the way it's presented now. As for you "trying to rewrite it", you were reverted several times (not just by me) when you tried to unilaterally blank the page and insert irrelevant "dicdef" tags that no one else felt were necessary. Your comments here on the talk page indicate a very limited understanding of the subject matter, and have been consistently accusatory and uncivil, including this last one.--Cúchullain t/c 13:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Rename article to Crack[edit]

As the article shows, the actual spelling is crack, craic is a late 20th century gaelicisation of the word. The name of this article was changed to 'craic' by a anon editor and then locked for a time. This is nonsense, change it to crack. (talk) 21:16, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

It couldn't be changed to crack, that's a disambiguation page. It was previously at crack (craic), which hardly seems like a great option either. It shouldn't be moved again without going through a requested move to garner consensus. And there isn't an "actual" spelling; both spellings are used and appear in the dictionary. And for better or worse "craic" appears to be more common at this point.--Cúchullain t/c 23:21, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The word is commonly used in Ireland to refer to having fun. It's spelt craic. Whether this is an gaelicisation or not doesn't matter. Plenty of places in Ireland have anglicised place named yet Wikipedia does not have their names in the original forms so why be inconsistent? It's also a word used in the Irish language for fun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

The word is commonly used in Northern Ireland and its spelt Crack.Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 04:16, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I am from Northern Ireland, it's almost always spelt "craic". When it's spelt "Crack" it's usually refering to the drug. Skyifictionable (talk) 23:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Well I am from Northern Ireland and it's only spelt 'craic' by you and most people you know due to the reinforcement of the the spelling 'craic' by articles like this one. The word is Crack, it always has been and always will be. Look at the words history, look at the criticism of 'craic'. 'Craic' is a non-word kept alive by the ignorant, by people who want to appear to be hip (using what they imagine to be Gaelic) and the agenda driven.

Introductory sentence[edit]

The cited source does not include the additional information re-added, for instance, [9]. What it does say is "Fun, amusement; entertaining company or conversation... Freq. with the". The entry for "crack, 5c, indicates that the word is used in Anglo-Irish and that it means "Fun, amusement; mischief. Freq. in phr. for the crack, for fun." According to the other sources, the older use in Northern England meaning "news" and "gossip" is from the 19th century; none of the sources indicate that it is still in use there or that it retains the meaning "news" and "gossip". The OED does not mention Northern England at all; it says "The English word was apparently introduced from Scots into Irish English via Ulster in the mid 20th century and subsequently borrowed into Irish."--Cúchullain t/c 15:00, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't see the reason for removing the quote, as was done here. My edit also updated the link, as the old one was broken, but this too was reverted. Can you explain?--Cúchullain t/c 14:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
The OED does list "Brisk talk, conversation; pl. news. Sc. and north. dial." as one of the definitions of the word "Crack" (5a). However, it doesn't specifically link that usage with the "craic" entry (that is identified with sense "5c"). Perhaps we can work on the wording. However clearly we can't just add all senses of the word "crack" - and obviously reverting to broken links isn't particularly helpful.--Cúchullain t/c 15:06, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Good stuff. Bryccan (talk) 15:21, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
This is your fourth revert today. Please restore the previous version before you are blocked, and engage in this discussion so we can move forward with improving the article. Can you provide the quote from the dictionary you've added?Cúchullain t/c 16:05, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
That isn't a revert, and it's sourced. To quote p. 79: "Most people in the English-speaking world will recognise phrases such as What's the craic? (in the sense of 'news/gossip')". But yous all can block me or whatever, go for it. I'm not interested in any discussion as you've decided to ignore the source provided from the OED for disingenuous reasons. To make things absolutely clear: I'm not contesting or editing the introduction from this point on, your version can stay. I'm not interested. Move "forward" at your leisure. Bryccan (talk) 16:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


After reading this article, there seems to me to be a clear divide between "crack" (meaning news/gossip/etc) and "craic" (meaning fun/etc). Language evolves, despite what purists would like, and although the common lineage/etymology of the words is clear, it HAS now evolved into two distinct uses/meanings with two spellings that differentiate them. Shouldn't the article utilise this fact to introduce more clarity and balance? Currently it is necessary to read through ~75% of the article before uncovering the modern reality. LookingGlass (talk) 11:50, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

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Not just in Ireland[edit]

I've tried to update this before but it keeps getting reverted. This is not just an Irish word. Yes, Ireland is a bigger and more famous place but it is also a very common word in the north of england. We've even a local magazine called such — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Ironically the North of England is actually more than likely where the word originated. Take a look at the article for Dance Ti Thy Daddy - verse one, line three of the song. Attested to 1826, published in 1849, and used in the British TV show of the 1970s When the Boat Comes In. The song's origins are, like the magazine, from North (-East) England. So really, you should be talking about "not just in England", but in Ireland and Scotland too! Of course, the spelling of the word in the original English is 'crack'. Before the English language had evolved somewhat, the addition of the 'c' before the 'k' was introduced, meaning that the word was previously spelled crakk or crak or even with an initial 'k' instead of the 'c'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Read the very next paragraph in the article then, where it already discusses this and the word's use in Scotland. However the article regards how it has gained wider prominence by being adopted as a pseudo Irish Gaelic term, with the consequent fake spelling, hence the name of the article. It might be annoying but it is what it is. Mutt Lunker (talk) 15:44, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Believe me, I'm very aware of the history of this article on Wikipedia, and of the insistence of some that it's originally a Gaelic word! Thanks for re-writing history, Guinness! -- (talk) 21:03, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Your knowledge of even your own recent history at this article is hazey for starters. Your comment was inserted above mine only last month, two and half years after my one. Clearly I was addressing the initial - and at the time only - post in this thread, not you. As the article makes it perfectly clear that Gaelic usage is recent and the origin is Scots and Northern English, the re-writing of history you claim to be in the article is simply not present. Can I remind you that, per WP:NOTFORUM "Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own thoughts and analyses or to publish new information", in regard to your new section below, and "article talk pages exist solely to discuss how to improve articles; they are not for general discussion about the subject of the article". I'm of half a mind to remove your posts. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:33, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Fun, entertainment, enjoyable?[edit]

I'm afraid this article doesn't seem to be aware of the many and varied contexts in which teh word is used. Although the word itself has been used by pubs and Guiness etc (and I think even both Irish tourish boards) only specifically in the context of 'fun', the word itself can be modified by context. For example, "bad crack", as in, "That was some bad crack last night!" is often used.

So the lede seems to be giving mislede-ing(!) people.

I compared it above to the word quare. If you say, "That was a quare day!", that could mean anything from it was really sunny and warm, to there were blizzards or gale-force winds.

Crack is really just a description of a social setting, and social settings can be fun... or not fun. A couple of examples:

  • "That was good crack in the pub last night - we should head out again tomorrow night!" [Positive]
  • "Stay away from yer woman - she's bad crack!" [Negative]
  • What's the crack with yer man?[Query, neutral]

I hope that makes it clearer! Maybe I'll try my hand at editing the article, though I doubt I'll get very far, considering very few people who edit Wikipedia have an upbringing in Northern Ireland, where the word has been in continual usage for maybe a hundred years. Systemic bias, I think it's called. I imagine it would be very difficult to source this also and, given how strict Wikipedia can be (often at the expense of the sky being blue!), I'm not sure how I'd go about this. Perhaps someone can offer some advice. This is, after all, decades of personal knowledge - but Wikipedia doesn't allow an editor to be a source. While that makes sense for the most part, in this case all it does is reinforce the systemic bias. -- (talk) 21:17, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

You've answered your own question. Please do not add material that is your claimed personal knowledge; Original research has no place here. See also my comment at the section above. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:37, 16 June 2020 (UTC)