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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

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

crab

n. a louse. (Usually plural.) He’s scratching like he’s got crabs.

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
References in classic literature ?
I am married to the Crab, and him only will I have.
In the evening the Princess told this to the Crab, who said to her, 'Take this rod, go to the garden gate and knock with it, then a black man will come out and say to you, ''Why have you called me, and what do you require of me?
Before he went he said to his wife, 'Now mind you do not say when you see me that I am the Crab.
The Crab then gave his wife the same directions as before, only this time the apple which she received from the black man was of gold.
The Princess in her fright exclaimed, 'That is the Crab himself
And you promised to treat me respectfully," said the crab, letting go the ear.
The soft-shell crab is correct," declared the Wizard.
At this the crab began laughing in queer chuckles that reminded Dorothy of the way Billina sometimes cackled.
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off.
So long as neither of us could prove we were right we quite enjoyed the dispute; but now I can never drink at that pool again without the soft-shell crab laughing at me.
shouted the crab, as loudly as his little voice would carry.
Then the zebra trotted back to the forest, bearing the crab with him, and disappeared amid the gloom of the trees.
He added 'we can earn more from crab farming business than shrimp farming by proper care and management.
Surprised fishermen off the coast of Chihsingtan Beach near eastern Taiwan's Hualien reeled in a Japanese spider crab this week, reported TVBS.
In addition to its newly discovered ability to absorb nutrients through its gills in times when food may be scarce, green shore crabs can survive in varied environments, from sandy beaches to rocky coastlines to tidal marshes, living in water with different levels of salinity and different temperatures - all of which make it easier for the crab to invade new territory and elbow out native species.