noun, plural (especially collectively) craw·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) craw·fish·es.
verb (used without object), craw·fished, craw·fish·ing.
IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
Origin of crawfish
Words nearby crawfish
What does crawfish mean?
The plural of crawfish can be crawfish or crawfishes. When used as a plural, crawfish typically refers to them collectively, while crawfishes usually refers to two or more kinds or species (but this isn’t always the case).
Crawfish aren’t fish—they’re shellfish. Other types of crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. There are several different species of both freshwater and saltwater crawfish. Freshwater ones are also referred to by the names crawdad and crawdaddy. Use of these terms varies by region.
Crawfish can also be used as an informal verb meaning to back out of something or retreat—like a crawfish retreating under a rock.
Example: When I was a kid, we used to catch crawfish in the creek.
Where does crawfish come from?
The first records of the word crawfish come from the 1600s. It comes from an alteration of the Middle English crevice, from the Middle French crevice, from the Old High German crebiz, meaning “crab.”
Crawfish are mostly small, lobster-like creatures. They’re decapods, meaning they have 10 walking legs.
The terms 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.
When crawfish is used as a slang verb, it’s typically used in a mildly negative way to indicate that someone is backing out of something they should do or take responsibility for, as in I was supposed to have more help with moving but a lot of my buddies crawfished out of it.
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How is crawfish used in real life?
People in different regions like to debate whether to use the term crayfish, crawfish, or crawdad.
Look what I just found! What do YOU call these? Crawdad, crawfish, crayfish, or mudbugs? pic.twitter.com/nO4MpVBR3U
— Colter Anstaett (@ColterAnstaett) May 25, 2020
if you don’t like crawfish, you’re wrong
— ivy belle🧚🏻♀️ (@ivybelleb) May 26, 2020
Most of y’all on here say, “it’s just a joke” because you want to crawfish out of a situation. Own up to your actual opinion😂
— katie 🌙 (@katiebugggg_) October 15, 2019
Try using crawfish!
Is crawfish used correctly in the following sentence?
I think I just saw two crawfish scurry under that rock.
Example sentences from the Web for crawfish
Gabrielle Taper, 19, sat next to her two teenage friends and nibbled on crawfish and Andouille, a type of sausage made from pork.New Orleans Celebrates Its Favorite Sandwich at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival|Tyler Gillespie|November 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The incident is big news in Breaux Bridge, which bills itself as the “Crawfish Capital of the World.”
Men, she says, worked 24 hours, forced to steam the crawfish and then peel them.
East's epiphany took the form of a satirical column comparing the progress of his native state to that of a crawfish.
“Last night, I went to this terrific seafood place and just wanted a plate of crawfish,” he said.
Down the stairs he ran, and quickly gathered up every crawfish he could find, while others followed his example.
When he came in with the crawfish in his hand, she asked him where were all the fish he had caught.Myths of the Cherokee|James Mooney
Crawfish throw up their hillocks in this soil, and the farmer who cultivates it, will find his labors impeded by the water.A New Guide for Emigrants to the West|J. M. Peck
I 'ain't got even ter say a crawfish bite on my lines to-day, much less'n some'h'n' fittin' fur a Christmas-gif'.Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales|Ruth McEnery Stuart
But the two lads danced, kicked and beat about them with their arms so that no one could remove the crawfish.