crawdad n [Prob folk-etym var of crawdab n]
1878 Logansport Chron. (IN) [29 June 8]/1 (newspaperarchive.com), After wrestling with the “craw-dad” for some time, the boat became unmanagable with Grover’s jumping and precipitated both him and Walter into the raging deep. 1882 Miami Helmet (Piqua OH) 20 July /2 (newspaperarchive.com), How to Keep Your Head Cool.—Walter Fordyce, our careful little carrier, says: “Carry ‘craw-dads’ in your hat.” 1903 Chautauquan 37.182 wNY, Last summer at Chautauqua I invited several boys to visit a pond with me. Thanks to their efforts my note-book shows. . . A crayfish, called crab, crawdaddy, or crawfish by the children. 1905 DN 3.76 nwAR, Crawdad. . . Crawfish. 1911 DN 3.537 eKY, Craw-dad. 1914 DN 4.163 LA, TX, Crawdad. 1923 DN 5.204 swMO, Craw dad. . . Also Craw dab, Craw pappy. 1940 Brown Amer. Cooks 269 LA, The Cajuns. . . live close to the earth and the “redbones” who subsist in the bayous on crawfish, called crawdaddy and crawl-daddy. 1944 Howard Walkin’ Preacher 155 Ozarks, “What a grand day to fish,” I thought as I garnered a dozen crawdaddies. 1944 PADS 1.55 cnMO, Crawdad. . . A crawfish. Ibid nwMO, nwAR, Crawdaddy. 1954 Harder Coll. cwTN, Crawdad: Crawfish. Also crawdaddy. c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Crawdad or crawdaddy: . . Crayfish. . . Crawdad is largely humorous. 1963 North Rascal 38 WI, His catch was a particularly large crayfish (or “crawdad” in the terminology of the region). 1965–70 DARE (Qu. P19, What do you call the small, freshwater crayfish around here?) 202 Infs, widespread exc Atlantic, Nth, Crawdad(s); 26 Infs, scattered, but esp IL, IA, MO, KS, Crawdaddy; NY93, Craydad [FW: Inf was hesitant, corrected to:] crab, crawdad; (Qu. P7, Small fish used as bait) Infs CO4, IN22, IA32, Crawdad; WA28, Crawdaddy; (Qu. P13, Other ways of fishing) Inf KY6, Crawdads; (Qu. P18, Shellfish . . common around here) Infs IL27, IN58, NY52, TX33, WA6, Crawdad; KS10, Crawdaddy. 1970 DARE Tape WV14, Crawcrabs around here—you know some people call ’em crawdads. . . They’re crayfish, is really what they are. 2004 Ohm Spatzies 158 KS (as of c1944), Crayfish (or “crawdads”) and turtles frequently nibbled on the bait. 2013–14 DARE Online Surv. WI Engl. esp sWI, (Qu. P19, What do you call the small, freshwater crayfish around here?) 12 Infs, Crawdad; 3 Infs, Crawdaddy; (Qu. P18, What kinds of shellfish are common around here?) 3 Infs, Crawdad; 1 Inf, Crawdaddy. [14 of 49 eligible Infs who responded to this question, from 6 of 22 represented target communities] 2014 in 2017 DARE File—Internet eTN, The best fun was catching little tiny crawdaddies that would wash up on the creek banks during a flood. Who needs a game system when you’ve got baby crawdads around?
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