1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Crop

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CROP (a word common in various forms, such as Germ. Kropf, to many Teutonic languages for a swelling, excrescence, round head or top of anything; it appears also in Romanic languages derived from Teutonic, in Fr. as croupe, whence the English “crupper”; and in Ital. groppo, whence English “group”), the ingluvies, or pouched expansion of a bird’s oesophagus, in which the food remains to undergo a preparatory process of digestion before being passed into the true stomach. From the meaning of “top” or “head,” as applied to a plant, herb or flower, comes the common use of the word for the produce of cereals or other cultivated plants, the wheat-crop, the cotton-crop and the like, and generally, “the crops”; more particular expressions are the “white-crop,” for such grain crops as barley or wheat, which whiten as they grow ripe and “green-crop” for such as roots or potatoes which do not, and also for those which are cut in a green state, like clover (see Agriculture). Other uses, more or less technical, of the word are, in leather-dressing, for the whole untrimmed hide; in mining and geology, for the “outcrop” or appearance at the surface of a vein or stratum and, particularly in tin mining, of the best part of the ore produced after dressing. A “hunting-crop” is a short thick stock for a whip, with a small leather loop at one end, to which a thong may be attached. From the verb “to crop,” i.e. to take off the top of anything, comes “crop” meaning a closely cut head of hair, found in the name “croppy” given to the Roundheads at the time of the Great Rebellion, to the Catholics in Ireland in 1688 by the Orangemen, probably with reference to the priests’ tonsures, and to the Irish rebels of 1798, who cut their hair short in imitation of the French revolutionaries.