'crooked, astray, dishonest'

(Modern English crooked)


cp. OE gecrōcod 'crooked, bent' and OIcel krókr ‘hook, anything crooked’. The late attestation of the OE word and the lack of cognates in other Gmc languages may indicate an ON borrowing (thus TGD, GDS, OED, Bj., McGee 338, Peters 87). There are possible Ablaut variants including OIcel kraki ‘stake, boat-hook’ and hence OHG kracko, krahho ‘hook’ (on which see e.g. Orel s.v. *krakōn),  and more speculatively OE crycc ‘crutch, staff’ (cp. OS krukkia, OHG krucka; thus AEW s.v. cryce) (see further SPS 109).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

krókr ‘hook, anything crooked’ 
(ONP krókr (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far krókur, Icel krókur, Norw krôk, Dan krog, Sw krok

OE Cognate

OE gecrōcod 'crooked, bent'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Attested as gecrōcod in late OE (see Peters 87, SPS 287), and then common and widespread from ME. In place-names, reflexes of the noun, < ON krókr or OE *crōc and usually meaning ‘land in the bend of a river’, are mainly N and E (as far south as Cmb.), but one ambiguous form has been cited from Sus. (see EPNE).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 653; Cl 181, 1697


MED crōked (ppl.) , OED crooked (a.) , HTOED , Dance croked, Bj. 248, SPS 109, 287, de Vries krókr, Mag. krókur, DOE gecrōcod, EPNE *crōc; krókr