Crack the door

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Aug 23 13:35:40 UTC 2009

At 8/23/2009 12:49 AM, nwhitman at wrote:
>At night, my wife will ask me to "crack the door" before we watch
>TV, so it won't keep the kids awake. I think, "what, *open* the
>door!? That doesn't make sense!" Then I notice the door's already
>wide open, and I realize she doesn't mean take it from closed to
>slightly open, but from wide open to slightly open.
>I can't get that meaning any more than I can say I've cracked a
>plate when I've glued together the pieces of a broken plate. Can any
>of you? For doors and windows, or just one or the other?

Normally I would understand "crack the door/window" to mean "open it
just a bit", but if I looked at or went to the door/window and found
it widely open I would understand to close it to the desired position.


The American Dialect Society -

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