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CRACKER (from " crack," a common Teut...

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 359 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CRACKER (from " crack," a common Teutonic word, cf. Ger. krachen, Dutch kraken, meaning to break with a sharp sound), that which " cracks "; it is, therefore, applied (I) to a firework so constructed that it explodes with several reports and jumps at each explosion, when placed on the ground (see FIREWORKS); (2) to a roll of coloured and ornamented paper containing sweets, small articles of cheap jewelry, paper caps and other trifles, together with a strip of card with a fulminant which explodes with a " crack " on being pulled; (3) to a thin crisp biscuit (q.v.); in America the general name for a biscuit. In the southern states of America, " cracker " is a term of contempt for the " poor " or " mean whites," particularly of Georgia and Florida; the term is an old one and dates back to the Revolution, and is supposed to be derived from the "cracked corn " which formed the staple food of the class to whom the term refers.
End of Article: CRACKER (from " crack," a common Teutonic word, cf. Ger. krachen, Dutch kraken, meaning to break with a sharp sound)
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