The (mis)use of the word "Crib" in Pakistan


I really do not know how far I can go with this topic, but it is really very strange that throughout Pakistan the word “crib” is used in the sense of "complain", while the correct word is Crab, I think.

I heard it for the first time from my friend’s mouth. When I asked him what the word meant, he was a bit surprised that I did not know the meaning of such a ‘commonly-used’ word. Well, the meaning that he told was silently denied by all the dictionaries I had. Some months later, I was attending a workshop in which the Resource Person again used the word crib in the same sense, i.e, complain. Last night, I heard it on TV, and just couldn’t sleep. Kept drifting in and out of sleep thinking how and why!

Now I wonder if I am wrong! Maybe the word also means “to complain”. What do you think? Is it also confused in other countries?


Oh, dear! A sleepless night in the “crib” (bed) brought on by the possible misuse of the word crib? We certainly can’t allow that to continue, now can we?!?

Have a look here, Tom: … ?last=1030

Sweet dreams. :lol: :wink:


:oops: :oops: :oops:

Thanks, Amy, for such a prestigious[size=150][color=red] eye-opener![/size]

By the way, should I delete this post which makes me nothing but sound like a pompous fool? :cry:

Amy, is this word commonly used in the sense of complain?

It also means “copy”, doesn’t it? What about “crab”? Is it also common?


No, no, Tom!

Look a little closer at the link I gave you. The link is for suggested “new words” in the dictionary. (I wanted you to be able to sleep better and that’s why I posted it. ;))

I’d actually never heard that particular usage for the word crib, and in googling, I found that almost all of the results come from India and Pakistan. But it seems to be quite well established there. Why fight it? Language is usage. Don’t crib about it. :smiley:

I just thought it was interesting that that “new” meaning of crib had apparently found it’s way to the US, too. I assume, however, that the usage in the US is still limited.


I had never heard that use of the word crib either.

Here’s another one, Tom. Listen to how Pakistani people use “dress up”.

A friend of mine sometimes stays with his boss, who is an Anglo-Saxon American man married to a Pakistani woman. Their kids pick up their mother’s word usage. One day my friend came back from work, and the kids excitedly told him, “Today is our father’s birthday, so everyone has to dress up to go to a restaurant and celebrate.” My friend really thought he had to get dressed up. He put on a suit and tie, and came out of his room only to find the family waiting in very casual clothes. He remarked that the children had told him to dress up, and his boss laughed. He said, “It’s a cultural misunderstanding. In Pakistan ‘dress up’ means to get dressed.”