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CRIB (a word common to some Teutonic languages, cf. Dutch krib and Ger. Krippe; it has a common origin with the O. Eng. "cratch," a manger or crib, cf. Fr. crêche), a manger or framework receptacle for holding fodder for cattle and horses, and so, from early times in English, particularly the manger in which Jesus was laid. It is thus used of a "cradle," from which in form it should be distinguished as being a small bed with high closed-in sides. The word has many transferred meanings, as a rough, small hut or dwelling, from which comes the slang use of "crib" as a berth or situation, or, as a burglar's term for a house to be broken into; also, technically, in engineering for a timber framework for masonry constructed with a caisson in laying foundations below water, or in mining for a timber lining to a shaft. "Crib-biting" is a vicious habit in horses, probably due in the first instance to indigestion; the horse seizes the manger or other object in its teeth, and draws in the breath, known as "wind-sucking"; the habit may be checked by the use of a throat-strap. The slang meaning of the verb "crib," to steal, especially used of petty thefts, is probably derived from an obsolete use of the substantive for a small wicker basket; this meaning occurs in the expression "time-cribbing," used of an illicit increase of the hours of labour in a factory or workshop, especially by the running of machinery each day slightly beyond the time of ceasing work. "Crib" and "cribbing" in this sense are also applied to any unacknowledged appropriation or plagiarism from an author, and particularly to the secret copying by a schoolboy of another's work or from a book, and also to the secret use of a translation and to such translation itself. "Crib," in the game of cribbage, of which it is a shortened form, is the term for the cards thrown away by each player and scored by the dealer.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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