[ kraw-dad ]
/ ˈkrɔˌdæd /
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Also crawdaddy.

Origin of crawdad

1900–05, Americanism;craw(fish) + dad (perhaps dad1); cf. doodad
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does crawdad mean?

Crawdad is American slang for a crayfish, a freshwater crustacean related to the lobster.

Crustaceans are shellfish and include crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. Crawdad, crawdaddy, crawfish, and crayfish all refer to the same general type of animal, but there are several different species. Crawdad is mostly used in the Central Midwestern region of the United States, but its use extends to several states.

Example: Missouri is crawdad country—we call ’em “Midwestern lobsters.”

Where does crawdad come from?

The first records of the word crawdad come from the early 1900s. The first part of the word comes from crawfish, which is another term for crayfish. Crayfish aren’t fish—the word comes from an alteration of the Middle English crevice, from the Middle French crevice, from the Old High German crebiz, meaning “crab.” The -dad in crawdad may be the same ending found in the word doodad.

Crawdad and crawdaddy are Americanisms, meaning they’re primarily used in the United States. But use of the terms varies by region. Crawdad and crawdaddy are most often used in Midwestern states and along the West Coast. Crawfish is the prevalent term in much of the South, whereas crayfish is the preferred term in the Northeast. Crawdad can refer to any freshwater crustacean from the genus Astacus or the genus Cambarus. Crawdads are decapods, meaning they have 10 walking legs. They are mostly small, lobster-like creatures, like the spiny lobster, also called the rock lobster.

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What are some synonyms for crawdad?

What are some words that may share a root or word element with crawdad

What are some words that often get used in discussing crawdad?

How is crawdad used in real life?

Crawdad is a regional slang term, and people like to debate whether such creatures are properly called crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads.



Try using crawdad!

Is crawdad used correctly in the following sentence?

When I was a kid, we used to catch crawdads in the creek.

How to use crawdad in a sentence

  • I put a shiny minnow or a dark old crawdad on my hook and throw it far out over the edge of the old fishing hole.

    Green Eyes|Roy J. Snell