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.

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Crack Someone Up (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • Her witty jokes always crack me up and bring a smile to my face.
  • During the comedy show, the comedian's hilarious performance had the entire audience cracking up.
  • He has a great sense of humor, and his funny stories never fail to crack us up.
  • The funny video on social media had thousands of viewers cracking up with laughter.
  • She has a knack for telling jokes that crack people up and create a lighthearted atmosphere.
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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