1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cracker
CRACKER (from “crack,” a common Teutonic word, cf. Ger. krachen, Dutch kraken, meaning to break with a sharp sound), that which “cracks”; it is, therefore, applied (1) to a firework so constructed that it explodes with several reports and jumps at each explosion, when placed on the ground (see Fireworks); (2) to a roll of coloured and ornamented paper containing sweets, small articles of cheap jewelry, paper caps and other trifles, together with a strip of card with a fulminant which explodes with a “crack” on being pulled; (3) to a thin crisp biscuit (q.v.); in America the general name for a biscuit. In the southern states of America, “cracker” is a term of contempt for the “poor” or “mean whites,” particularly of Georgia and Florida; the term is an old one and dates back to the Revolution, and is supposed to be derived from the “cracked corn” which formed the staple food of the class to whom the term refers.