A swampy area thickly covered with trees and underbrush; land of this character; hence combs cripple land, ~ swamp.
1675 in 1880 Documents Colonial & Post-Revol. Hist. NJ 1.115, The sd land . . lyeth between two Small gutts or Run’s, and streatches into the woods as far as the great Swamp or Cripple wch backs the said two Necks of land. 1676 in 1881 Documents Colonial Hist. NY 12.556 nDE, Martin Garritson was Imployed by Mr. Hans Block (Deceased) to make a way from his Plantation over ye Valley & Creuple, into his Backward Land wch Lyeth behinde the Sayd Valley & Creuple; but could not make ye sd way Sufficient for Cattle to goe over; by Reason of the Rottenness of ye ground, being a Quaking mire wch hath noe foundation for a way. 1679 in 1904 New Castle DE Court Records 1.286, Huybert hendricks [showed] . . that there was a small slipe of ground stretching from the Corner of his fence Along the Kripple towards the fence of the Towne Dycke, w[hi]ch Lying open in Common prooved verry hurtful to the Cattle & other Creatures of this Towne, The same often Myreing in ye same Kripple. 1705 in 1870 PA Hist. Soc. Memoirs 9.234, The largest of the above said islands [prob = Burlington Island] is about a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth; and suppose it may contain about 300 acres, near 100 upland, the rest swamp and cripple that high tides flow over. 1766 in 1903 Documents Colonial & Post-Revol. Hist. NJ 25.48, [Advt:] There is about 200 acres of natural meadow and cripple swamp, the soil is as deep and good as any of the kind in the county, being very natural for hemp and flax. 1769 (1906) Smith Tour Great Rivers 12 cwNJ, A Quantity of low cripple Land may be seen . . & this reaches 4 miles to the Kaatskill. 1877 Hallock Sportsman’s Gaz. 129, The Ruffed Grouse often takes refuge from the sportsman amidst the thickest cripples, deepest gullies and densest foliage. 1887 DE Laws 18.1.235, The said commissioners . . are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint and employ a surveyor . . to enter upon all the low ground, marsh and cripple belonging to the said company. 1900 NJ State Geologist Annual Rept. for 1899 247, Fire and the axe have converted many of these swamps into sorry looking thickets and cripples, which are little more than tangles of saplings, bushes and vines. [Footnote to cripple:] The term “cripple” is a localism used in South Jersey and on the Chesapeake peninsula. It is applied to a thicket or bushland. 1912 Every Eve.–Wilmington Daily Commercial (DE) 14 Aug 2/3, The officers did not shoot at the fleeing negro at first, and as a consequence he managed to reach the “cripples,” a swampy piece of ground between the railroad and the river. 1942 Sat. Eve. Post 5 Sept 11/1 swNJ, Old Jep Yard probably had the right of it. According to him, both are wet, narrow and long, but while drought can dry out a cripple, a spung is always a spung. 1968 McPhee Pine Barrens 61 NJ, A low, wet area where the Atlantic white cedars grow is called a cripple. 2003 Geol. Assoc. S. NJ Periglacial Features 60, Unlike the enclosed spungs, cripples have open drainageways. 2015 in 2022 DARE File—Internet sNJ, You might be right about the dam. It appears on the aerial that if they were to back up the water enough it would enter this low spot that appears to be a small cripple.