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crib1

to move over the mark when playing marbles. I played marbles in the Southern Riverina in the 1940s and 1950s. We called it "Fernannick", but knew it as "fudge " and "crib" also. Compare cribs, fernannick, phernudge, duck-shove.
crib2

1. bag used to contain one's lunch items: Did you bring your crib?
2. the lunch so contained; a packed lunch.
3. lunch time.

Contributor's comments: [Perth informant] I disagree with your definition, Crib is your mid shift meal in the mining industry, not the bag you carry it in.

Contributor's comments: My father who was a bus driver in Perth from the 1940s to the 1970s used to take 'his crib' to work, like other drivers. This was his meal to be had during his main break. I haven't heard the term used since the 70s.

Contributor's comments: I have heard two aunts, who have both lived in North and North-West Queensland all of their lives, refer to lunch as 'crib'.

Contributor's comments: Have used this term throughout my working life and found only in West Aust was it commonly understood. Variations being Crib Time, Crib Break.

Contributor's comments: I first met "crib" as a term for lunch or playlunch when I stated teaching in Collie [WA]. I gathered it was a mining term and believe it was also used in Kalgoorlie. I have never heard it used outside those areas.

Contributor's comments: In the Northern Coalfields (Cessnock dist.), this term was used to refer to the miner's lunch; crib-tin was the semi-circular metal container, with a tight lid to exclude coal-dust, etc., which was used to carry that meal.

Contributor's comments: I grew up in Broken Hill. My father was a miner, he would always take his crib to work for his meal break. The container it was carried in was called a crib tin.

Contributor's comments: It is my belief that the word "crib" had it beginnings in the mining industry. Underground mines were usually accessed by "cage" via the shaft, Economics dictated that cage runs carrying men in and out of the mine be limited to the minimum possible, hence the cage that took men down on the next shift, brought the previous shift out. This meant that the miners shifts were eight hours, for example 8 till 4, 4 to midnight etc. Existing work hours at the time were eight hours per day. If a miner was to work eight hours, say, between 8 till 4 there was no time for a meal break, so the miner had to "crib" some of the company's time. This led to the term "crib time", the period during which the meal was eaten, the meal became known as a "crib" and the place where it was eaten is still known as a "crib room" or "crib house".

Contributor's comments: This term is used in mining towns on the West Coast of Tasmania.

Contributor's comments: I understand that the word CRIB which I understand to mean mid day meal (as used in Broken Hill) comes from a cornish (Hard Rock Miners) origin and its origin comes from the container which one used to carry ones crib in which was a cane or wickerware basket which was called a cribbage. I don't know if this has any relationship to another popular pass time with miners which is a card game also referred to as crib or cribbage.

Editor's comments: According to the mighty six-volume English Dialect Dictionary (1898) the term "crib" in the sense of food is indeed Cornish dialect, whence it most probably made its way into Australian mining communities, but the term was also in use in Scotland, Northampton and Devon. As to it's origin, the English Dialect Dictionary is silent. However, in all likelihood it is the same word as "crib" meaning: (originally) a barred receptacle for fodder, a baby's bed, a cabin, a hovel, (in NZ) a beachside holiday house, a bin used in hop picking, and numerous other related meanings.

Contributor's comments: My father was a coal-miner in Collie, in the South-West of Western Australia. His crib was his lunch - taken to work - and eaten mid-shift (day or night) in the crib-cabin. I think he might have carried it in a crib-box.

Contributor's comments: I believe crib is still in common use in the WA mining industry and, curiously, the WA Police Service.

Contributor's comments: [Tasmanian informant] Miner's mid shift meal: "What are you having for crib today?"

Contributor's comments: Lunch taken to work by miners. Have only heard it used at Mount Morgan: "I took my crib to work."

Contributor's comments: I grew up in a Cornish settled community called Moonta in Sth Australia. This word and many others was in common use til the 1970's and still used by older people there. It refered to lunch with the already associated crib room, crib break, etc. The Cornish came to us direct from Cornwall and later they and their descendants spread to other mining communities in Australia.

Contributor's comments: When I worked at the BHP in Newcastle during the 1960s and 1970s, your "crib" was your lunch and the "crib" break was your lunch break.

Contributor's comments: 'crib' meaning lunch was used in the gold mining town of Walhalla in Gippsland Victoria.

Contributor's comments: I am originally from Wollongong and worked at the Port Kembla Steelworks in the early 70's. "Crib" was the common word for a meal break. We had a "crib-room" where we used to have our meals and we took our lunch (and sundry other items) to work in a "crib-bag". Also, if we were asked to work overtime with less than 24 hour's notice we would request a "crib docket" to get food from the canteen at discounted prices. When I moved to Sydney I found that no-one knew what the heck I was talking about, so I figured that it must be a regional thing, possibly only used in the mining and steel industry. Can anyone from "The 'Gong" confirm this?

Contributor's comments: Crib is the term used by Cornish miners for the meal they took underground with them. They probably took the word with them to the Goldfields.

Contributor's comments: I work a fly in fly out roster at a Gold mine in WA, and oddly enough at work I have crib, but at home I have lunch.

Contributor's comments: It is my understanding that 'crib' comes from Cornwall. It is the mid-shift meal for miners (and hence crib-break, crib-tin). I always thought it derived from when horses were used underground and were taken to their stalls for feeding. The hay/fodder was placed in a crib. So the meal break became 'crib-break'.

Contributor's comments: In Port Augusta up until the 1970s, the drivers on the Ghan and the Overland packed their cribs for their long trips. The crib was a metal trunk, and held enough food for a week or more. A driver I knew understood the term to come from the Kalgoorlie mines. However, if a driver was on a day trip, and expected home that night or the next night, he took his lunch, not his crib.

Contributor's comments: The use of the word crib was and still is in widespread usage in the Railways of the Mainland. It has the same meaning as in the mining industry, and is included in enginemen's awards. We were allowed 15mins crib on steam locos and 10mins on diesels. Our hands were cleaner on them.

Contributor's comments: I gotta say, I've never heard the term 'crib' applied to anything other than an apartment or home. Maybe the effect of too much American television?

Contributor's comments: term for meal - used by the workers at BHP Whyalla steel mill - hence crib break, crib room: "How about a bit of crib mate? Nar, sorry mate, not my shift break yet - catch you later."

Contributor's comments: Crib or cribb: a coal miner's food. Traditionally carried in a tin: "Have you had your crib yet? Don't forget to take your crib."

Contributor's comments: As an apprentice in Adelaide, we always stopped for smoko. In North West Western Australia it is always crib - ie 'stop for crib' or 'he's in the crib room'.