Why Is Craps Called Craps

How come casino dice game is , effectively, called “shits”?

Gus from team Thelma and Louise was asking me this recently when a question about Craps featured in a double-or-bust round at the Safari Lounge.

Craps traces its roots back to an ancient British dice game called Hazard.

According to Mental Floss, the explanation for the name comes from the time that Hazard was imported to the USA, and the roll of double-one (also known as “snake eyes”) was, for some reason, known in the Louisiana area as “crabs”.

Snake Eyes Watching You

“Crabs” transmuted to “Craps” and eventually became the standard name of the American casino staple. This explanation is also favoured by crapsage.com who attribute the “crabs” call to French sailors.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia’s explanation says that the game’s popularity spread from New Orleans, Louisiana where French influence was heavy and this took it’s French name “crapaud” with it as it spread.

Crapaud means toad and refers to the crouched stance of players as the game was originally played by people squatting in the street. On their honkers, as we used to say.

These are the two stories I’ve found so far. The variability and uncertainty lead me believe that I will not be doing questions on the matter any time soon.




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