Crack Someone Up (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Crack Someone Up"?

The term "crack someone up" means to make someone laugh.
Crack Someone Up (Origin)
The idiom "to crack someone up" originates from the 17th century, when men and women wore thick, white make-up to hide pox marks and make their skin look pale. (NB: Pale skin suggested wealth as it contrasted with the tanned complexions of those required to work outside in the fields.) When someone wearing such make-up laughed, their make-up would crack around the laughter lines.

Competing Theory

The term "to crack someone up" comes from Ireland. More specifically, it comes from the Gaelic word craic, which relates to fun and is pronounced "crack."

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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