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crunk adj. good, fine, phat. Editorial Note: The crunk in the first citation is probably a typographical error for “drunk.” (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • 2004 Luc Sante New York Review of Books (May 13) “Disco Dreams”: “Crunk” is an offshoot of hiphop based in the South, favoring antiphonal group chants and raucous shouts over solo rapping, and with notably pornographic lyrics. Originally—and sometimes still—the vocals and sometimes the backing tracks were drastically slowed down. The style originated in Houston with a subculture of cough-syrup drinkers, syrup being famous for slackening perception of time.

  • For what it’s worth, I think Santé lacks supporting information. Sipping syrup (also called “screw,” “screw juice”,  and “lean” and made of various combinations of cough syrup, soda, and alcohol) does appear to have originated in Houston—in Texas at least—and is closely associated with the music called “screwed,” probably named after DJ Screw or vice versa) but “crunk” has existed as an adjective since at least 1995. I cannot find citations of “crunk” as a noun anywhere that early, leading me to believe that “crunk” was applied to the music later, not that “crunk” as a cool word came from the type of music. I also cannot find “crunk” associated in any special or significant way with the Houston scene. There’s a lot of baloney talked in the hip-hop community trying to claim this term (and a million others), but if I had to make an educated guess, I’d say “crunk” came out of New Orleans, not Houston. That’s based only on slim info and gut, and nothing that’s worth publishing.

    Of course, more data is always needed to be certain of anything.

  • I have heard someone describe crunk as a contraction of crazy and drunk.  Being from New Orleans, I don’t think crunk originated there, but I always considered it to come out of Atlanta.

  • I thought this came from the Conan O Brien show.  Something about a replacement for the 7 words you can’t say on television.

  • geez
    crunk is from crank
    a party that is really heated and good is one that has been “cranked up”, but as in sneak and snuck, drink and drunk the word used in GA is “crunk”. So instead of saying “they cranked [turned] the music up”, one would say “they crunk the music up”. And therefore the music was “crunk”, just as a consumed beverage is now “drunk”. 🙂

    as a teen i always heard “that shit was crunk up”, or “we stayed till 4 am andthats when it really got crunk”

    i’d use grammatical terms but im too lazy and most ppl wouldnt understand anyway, oh well

  • also
    it does NOT mean “good, fine or phat”. It means “heated, hype, wild, off the hook, off the chain, crazy”. Isnt there a phrase to “rachet it up” or something like that? Same thing but this is to “crank” it up a notch till its at the maximum level.

Further reading

Clam, a Musical Mistake

Ian in Jacksonville, Florida, wonders about why musicians use the word clam to mean “a mistake” or “an egregious musical error,” as in There are a lot of clams in there or We need to practice where the clams are regarding a...

A Smoko, Drongo?

Smoko is slang for “a cigarette break.” It’s used in Australia and also at a British research station in Antarctica. This is part of a complete episode.


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