Origin of the word craps

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The origin of the word craps has a fascinating history. A history that has a number of conflicting opinions. This is often the case when it comes to the origin of a game. Dice and games have been a golden combination for centuries. And Craps is also no exception to this. Two dice, a number of people and something to use. There is actually no more necessary.

It is therefore not surprising that it has been played by a large audience for a long time. In alleys, casinos, online, on boats and in submarines. It is playable everywhere as long as there is room for it. But where exactly does the quirky name Craps come from?

Hazard a craps

There are researchers who conclude that craps is derived from the English game Hazard. An OuwenOud game, the first version of which already originated around 1700 in Montmort. Hazard In the end in USA also grew like a popular dice game. When the American then left for North America, they took the game with them.

One of these people was Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville. He had been living in America for three generations and was a fan of the game Hazard. The people in America were interested, but not yet completely convinced. Bernard had to adjust and simplify the game to get it in the end accepted. This modified version would later craps become. So it differs from Hazard. Although there is still the misconception that the two are the same.

To scratch

So two currents of the same game were created. The friends of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville found the dice game not worthwhile in the first instance. The game did, however, gained popularity on his plantation, where in particular slaves and Indians were. They played this squat on the ground. This looked a bit like how toads and frogs are.

But when they then moved on hands and feet, he saw a resemblance to crabs. The version of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville was rid of the English game Hazard. He therefore had to give the game a new name. When he saw the men move like crabs on his plantation, he got an idea.


The question is why Bernard did not opt for a name related to frogs and toads. He lived in New Orleans where frogs were part of the local cuisine. It was a Creole city for a long time. There were many residents with a European African background. Bernard was also a creole. Many Americans came to New Orleans when it got reputation as an economically strong city.

After New York and Baltimore it was even the third largest city in the United States at the time. The newcomers, attracted by the economic possibilities, gave the American Creoles a nickname: crab. This means path. Where frogs make jumping movements, toads drag themselves on. The parable of the word crab With craps is visible. However, the game already had the name Crabs. So how did it change to Craps?

Crabs en Craps

The American language was not always easy for the English and Spanish newcomers in New Orleans. The word crab So could soon be corrupted. This way, the word can be abbreviated to craps on the streets. Something that was much easier to pronounce. The name for the version of the Van Bernard was still Crabs. A word that looks a lot like craps. The Creoles of New Orleans described the game for a long time as Crabs.

But the newcomers used the word craps for the same game. The two groups were involved in constant conflicts. To solve this, it was even proposed to place a channel between the two districts. And even though it did not end up in the end, the plans were indeed there. The street Canal Street, is still a memory of this.

The word craps

Craps eventually beat Crabs. The areas where the word craps were used became more familiarity. There is also an argument that Americans prefer words with a P instead of a b. Thus Craps won the fight of the names and the popular game was given a fixed name.

Nevertheless, the reversal of the name Crabs, the game of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville was still played. This simplified version of Hazard his wings out and spread through the rest of America. Incidentally, it was babysitting in America with the saying of the word. People who prefer not to scold with crap had to do their best to clearly pronounce. A mistake in the pronunciation and you were looked angry.

CRAPS Street

Has this put an end to the story of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville? Not quite. He himself was an enthusiastic player of Craps and loved a good gamble. He lost a large part of his family power. He decided to sell part of his plantation. This became part of the city and a new neighborhood was created in New Orleans. Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville left a memento behind. A street name in honor of his favorite time spent. Thus arose CRAPS Street.

The word crabs

For the time being, the use of words such as crabs and craps is easy to determine. The names are not complicated and there are plenty of assumptions about the origin of the game in America. A further search for the origin of the word Crabs does not cause too many problems. The medieval word crab, also like crabbe of crabba Written is the precursor. These words popped up around 1200. The reference was also there at the time to the way scratching moves.

The word craps

From a linguistic point of view, the word craps comes from the word Crabs. The word is around 19e century originated. Think back to the word that people gave the Creoles of New Orleans: crab. It is possible that here is the origin of the word craps. If you remove the letter S from this word, you will get crap. This was already used in the Middle Ages. The word occurs in sayings such as cut the crap. This means something like "stop with that nonsense". In addition, nowadays it is often used as a replacement of shit. Incidentally, there is disagreement among historians about the exact origin.

Another theory

Craps therefore arose as a simple version of an old English game called Hazard. Allegedly the English would call the lowest possible role in this game Craps. Possibly the American would have taken over this term, but in their own way. And then you come to words like crebs, CREPS of crabs. After which the weather was changed to craps.

There are also theories that the game was played by Arabs well before the Middle Ages. They then took it to the Mediterranean Sea where the American originally Chance was named. The English made here Hazard From and it came back to the American under the name Craps. However, this theory is not supported by clear sources. They are more assumptions and meetings of circumstances.


The word craps was first included in the language around 1843 in America. This was in the state of Louisiana where the city of New Orleans is located. Also an old American colony. The game differs from the English Hazard, and is basically a simpler version. All these circumstances indicate that the story of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville can sometimes be correct. That craps indeed come from Crabs and Crapeau. Craps became a more popular term in the growing city and so the game would be given its current name.

Around the table

The game can be played everywhere. The only necessities are two dice, a number of participants and something to use with. It spread to the rest of North America from the New Orleans plantations. That's how it ended up in casinos. Certainly when Las Vegas grew into the gambling city, many dice were rolled. The ground made way for a table, on which more bet options were possible.

Around the table there are often many people who watch enthusiastically. The table on which craps is played is therefore also a lively place within a casino. It is also possible to play the game on the internet. Online casinos offer it massively. However, the game can still be played outside on the ground, as was the case in the past.


The game itself is probably an accumulation of other old dice games. Eventually it came together to play that the English Hazard mentioned. This also became an extremely popular game in USA. In all they probably took it to America in the times of colonization. It was Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville who wanted to make a version of the game that was more accessible to the American public. He therefore simplified the rules of Hazard.

The first players were the slaves and Indians on his plantation. Bernard believed in the potential of the game and introduced it in New Orleans where it was named Crabs. Newcomers in the city, however, used the name Craps for the game, derived from crab. Eventually the name Craps got the upper hand. Since then the game has gone fast. Casinos have a table on which it can be played and it is still popular online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the word craps?

The word is probably a derivation of the American word for crab. Craps was traditionally played outside with people who are squatting. This was reminiscent of a set of crabs. It was originally named Crabs and was popular in New Orleans. The Creoles lived here, which nicknamed crab (told). Probably the transition to Craps arose, which eventually became the usual name.

Is Craps the same as Hazard?

Circa 1700 a dice game arose in England that the name Hazard got. Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville, a Americanman in America, wanted to make the game more common. He therefore made a simple version of Hazard that more people could be played. Craps therefore originated from Hazard, but is not the same. Although this mistake is still being made.

Where can you play craps?

In principle, Craps is playable everywhere, provided you have the space for it. The game used to be played on a plantation in New Orleans. It gained popularity because you need only two dice in addition to people and a certain bet. Nowadays it can be found in both casino where it has its own table. Also in American online casinos The game can be found and playable.

Why is craps being played on a table?

Because it was difficult to play it on the floor of a casino, a table for craps was designed. The modern version of this table has more options to use. As a spectator, it is a good place to come and take a look. That way you can also become familiar with the game. There is often a lot of enthusiasm to find and cheer around the table.

Is Crap Crap?

The English word crap means something like nonsense or, in the absence of a better term, shit. There is a theory that the English used to give the lowest possible role the name Craps. The general view is that the origin is somewhere else. It comes from the medieval word crab. When the game became popular in America, Crabs was used. Through corruption and the combination with the word crab, eventually the name Craps came about. Although you should not forget the S when you pronounce it.