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90s Slang You Should Know


[kreek, krik] /krik, krɪk/
U.S., Canada, and Australia. a stream smaller than a river.
a stream or channel in a coastal marsh.
Chiefly Atlantic States and British. a recess or inlet in the shore of the sea.
an estuary.
British Dialect. a narrow, winding passage or hidden recess.
up the creek, Slang. in a predicament; in a difficult or seemingly hopeless situation.
Origin of creek
1200-50; Middle English creke, variant of crike < Old Norse kriki bend, crook
Related forms
subcreek, noun
Can be confused
brook, creek, river, stream.
creak, creek, croak.


[kreek] /krik/
noun, plural Creeks (especially collectively) Creek.
a member of a confederacy of North American Indians that in historic times occupied the greater part of Alabama and Georgia.
Also called Muskogee. a Muskogean language that is the language of the Creek Indians. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for creek
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By the time the creek was reached, he was in evident distress and sorely pressed.

  • It was stretched across a creek, so that the rice could be dropped into a boat under it.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • I urged my mount to full speed up the creek bottom, taking chances of his falling into a hole.

    An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)
  • Launching out into the current, the raft was borne with its flow towards the creek.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • It was a very plain envelope and quite unaccountably it was postmarked from the station near the mouth of Shoulder-blade creek.

    A Pagan of the Hills Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for creek


(mainly Brit) a narrow inlet or bay, esp of the sea
(US & Canadian, Austral & NZ) a small stream or tributary
(slang) up the creek, in trouble; in a difficult position
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse kriki nook; related to Middle Dutch krēke creek, inlet


(pl) Creek, Creeks. a member of a confederacy of Native American peoples formerly living in Georgia and Alabama, now chiefly in Oklahoma
any of the languages of these peoples, belonging to the Muskhogean family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for creek

mid-15c., creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," altered from kryk (early 13c.; in place names from 12c.), probably from Old Norse kriki "corner, nook," perhaps influenced by Anglo-French crique, itself from a Scandinavian source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook and with an original notion of "full of bends and turns" (cf. dialectal Swedish krik "corner, bend; creek, cove").

Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1570s, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in American English (1620s). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often especially "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol."


Indian tribe or confederation, 1725, named for creek, the geographical feature, and abbreviated from Ochese Creek Indians, from the place in Georgia where English first encountered them. Native name is Muskogee, a word of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for creek


Related Terms

up shit creek

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with creek


see: up a creek
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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