where does the term cracker come from?

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  1. #1
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    where does the term cracker come from?

    i always like to hear originations of local names, how does cracker come into play?

    ill share one too, alot of people consider Louisianaians "cajuns". The term stems back from when the acadians were run out from there homeland. They settled in undeveloped far out stretches of the swamp where they created there own niche'. gators, shrimp etc... over time with the different accents it evovled... Acadians, ah-cadiuns, ah-cajuns, and finally CAJUNS!! i always found that to be interesting. GEAUX TIGERS!!

    another useless tidbit that many dont know (from my motorboat operator instructor days) is how port and starboard became such. I dont remmber dates or eras and if you want that nitty gritty LOOK IT UP lol. at some point in history as larger boats (instead of dugouts) came into play a system was needed to steer the boat. a board (more or less a fixed paddle) was afixxed to the right side of the boat and this is where the person steering the boat would sit. this board was called... a STARboard (no idea why). obviously, since it was fixed you did not want to come to port with that side of the boat and rick breaking your starboard, hence the left side was always used to PORT! Some of the details may be a little off, anyone who knows more specific feel free to correct me, but that is the basis of the nomenclature still in use today!

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    I read just a few days ago what cracker meant. Years ago This area was heavy in cattle. The handlers controls the cattle with a 10 foot whip. When they cracked the whip the noise was loud like a gun shot. So people started calling them crackers because of the cracking of the whip. There probably more reasons but this one does make sense.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Travis G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Shadow View Post
    I read just a few days ago what cracker meant. Years ago This area was heavy in cattle. The handlers controls the cattle with a 10 foot whip. When they cracked the whip the noise was loud like a gun shot. So people started calling them crackers because of the cracking of the whip. There probably more reasons but this one does make sense.


    true strory

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    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon Shadow View Post
    I read just a few days ago what cracker meant. Years ago This area was heavy in cattle. The handlers controls the cattle with a 10 foot whip. When they cracked the whip the noise was loud like a gun shot. So people started calling them crackers because of the cracking of the whip. There probably more reasons but this one does make sense.
    I agree with MS...and I found the original term was "Georgia Crackers" They were the cattleman that drove thier livestock through southern Georgia and into Florida. Then Georgia embraced the "southern charm" ideals and left Florida with the crackers.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

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    Senior Member magot's Avatar
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    Moon is correct.

    It tickles me when some Florida rednecks (And you know who you are!) proudly call themselves crackers when they've never been within a hundred yards of a live cow.
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    Senior Member APE's Avatar
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    Moon is correct, cattlemen would drive cattle South through the state to be taken toward Tampa then sent to Cuba. The cattlemen would use the whips to herd them, cracking the whip makes a sound like a 22 magnum or louder. My wifes family is considered Crackers but they are no longer in the cattle/ranching business, just timber business.

    Where did the term coonass come from?
    Last edited by APE; 02-11-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: More info

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    Senior Member Oldfox1939's Avatar
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    Here ya go....
    Coonass, or Coon-***, is used in reference to a person of Cajun ethnicity. Many consider it an insult but others consider it a compliment or badge of honor. Although many Cajuns use the word in regard to themselves, other Cajuns view the term as an ethnic slur against the Cajun people, especially when used by non-Cajuns.

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    Senior Member magot's Avatar
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    The Navy Reserve A-7 squadron, VA-204, based at New Orleans Naval Air Station, called themselves the "Coonazz Militia." They spelled it properly.
    They's more than there used to be, but the the Navy ain't as ate up with hall monitor mods as some organizations.
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    Read the book "A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith and it explains the "Cracker" name. It's also a fantastic book for many more reasons than that.
    "Be what you is"....... Isaiah Minter

  10. #10
    Senior Member Capt M Brennan's Avatar
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    Ditto Fishin Rod. Anyone who lives in Florida should read that book. Florida in the late 1800's was wilder than the wild west. In fact much of Fredrick Remington's "western" art was done here in Florida.

    "If famed Western cowboy artist Frederic Remington didn't actually coin the title, he certainly perpetuated it by conferring it on Bone Mizell in 1895. The urbane Remington traveled from New York City to Florida that year to paint the scruffy-looking Mizell astride his horse. Remington called the painting A Cracker Cowboy. Other paintings of Bone and his cowboy colleagues appeared in the August 1895 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. The appellation stuck. Eventually it evolved into Florida Cracker, the title now reserved for the Sunshine State's native-born sons and daughters.

    It was not by accident that Remington immortalized Bone. The artist recognized that cracker cowboys lacked the glamour associated with the Western variety he'd helped popularize. He also recognized that Bone had a charisma all his own, that Bone's fame as a rangeland raconteur and prairie prankster was widespread and well deserved."

    Read up on old Bone some say he was a rustler, some say he was just a cow hunter (Florida term for cowboy). Cow hunters use cow whips rather than lariets due to the heavy vegetative cover of Florida. You can still buy cow whips in the local feed stores, though since 1970 or so they've been made of waxed nylon parachute cord rather than leather.
    Last edited by Capt M Brennan; 02-11-2012 at 07:43 PM.
    Captain Mike Brennan

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