crab

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catch a crab

To make a poor stroke while rowing, perhaps by missing the water entirely. The boat jerked as I caught a crab with my oar.
See also: catch, crab

crab mentality

A negative, selfish mentality characterized by a preference for others not to get ahead of or do better than oneself. It alludes to a phenomenon of a group of crabs in a pot, in which an escaping crab is pulled back down by the others so that none escape in the end. She dreamt of going to college and beginning a better life, but her parents' and friends' crab mentality constantly discouraged her from leaving the sordid life in which they were entrenched.
See also: crab, mentality

you cannot make a crab walk straight

proverb There is no point trying to accomplish something that is not actually possible. (Crabs are known for walking sideways.) Why are you try to teach her this game when she clearly isn't interested? You cannot make a crab walk straight, you know. A: "Billy's trying to mix oil and water again." B: "Oh boy. Someone needs to tell him that you can't make a crab walk straight."
See also: cannot, crab, make, straight, walk
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

catch a crab

(in rowing) effect a faulty stroke in which the oar is jammed under water or misses the water altogether.
See also: catch, crab
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

crab

n. a louse. (Usually plural.) He’s scratching like he’s got crabs.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

catch a crab

To make a faulty stroke in rowing that causes the blade of the oar to strike the water on the recovery stroke.
See also: catch, crab
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Kevin Fossett, of Ideal Supply, says that the number of recreational crabbers has increased over the last couple of years, with what he figures there to be over 6,000 traps going to recreational anglers last season.
Crabbers traditionally set lines of pots along the shallow edge of deeper water areas (such as channels) or in areas adjacent to salt marshes.
Crisfield was the Eastern Shore League champion as the surprising Crabbers beat out Salisbury.
Part of a crabber's livelihood is all in his timing.
Following his stellar 1954 season, when he captured the National League batting title, led the New York Giants to the World Series, and was the league's Most Valuable Player, Willie Mays traveled south to play winter ball for the Santurce Cangrejeros (CRABBERS) of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League.
A population survey did not identify a pattern of chronic health problems or neurologic symptoms reported by crabbers on affected waters, compared to crabbers elsewhere, but did document some of their work practices (8).
In Maryland, a licensed commercial crabber can fish no more than 300 pots (if other fishermen work from the same boat, no more than 900 pots can be used per boat).
It is more of a coffee-table type photo book, but one that accurately portrays the rough, and sometimes difficult, way of life of the commercial fisherman, crabber, oysterman, etc., and it would be an interesting companion volume to the other historical treatises on Chesapeake Bay commercial fishing.
The Coastguard received a distress alert at 3.45am on Saturday, and the Stornoway-registered crabber's emergency positioning beacon was activated near Mingulay, 12 miles south of Barra.
It is believed all four men were sleeping below decks when the 48ft Stornoway crabber Louisa started taking on water in the early hours yesterday.
A sandhill crane, a happy crabber and a gritty clam-digger captured by three local photographers are among the winners in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's annual photo contest.
Without the right skills, a novice may find it hard to catch even a single crab, said Deluz, a crabber in Qatar for 21 years.
Sig Hansen appeared on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in late April touting his dream of being on "Dancing with the Stars!" When an Alaska crabber is appearing on Leno, it seems clear Alaska benefits.