What Does \"First Crack Out Of The Box\" Mean And Where Does It Come From
If you have ever heard someone say \"I'll give you the first crack out of the box\" or \"He was the first crack out of the box to finish the race\", you might have wondered what this phrase means and where it originates from. In this article, we will explain the meaning, origin, and usage of this idiomatic expression.
Meaning of \"First Crack Out Of The Box\"
The phrase \"first crack out of the box\" means the first chance, opportunity, or attempt to do something. It can also mean immediately, at the first instance, or without delay. For example:
I want to have the first crack out of the box at solving this puzzle.
She was the first crack out of the box to apply for the job.
As soon as he got home, he was the first crack out of the box to open his presents.
Origin of \"First Crack Out Of The Box\"
The origin of this phrase is not very clear, but there are some possible explanations. One theory is that it derives from the sound of a gunshot or a cricket bat hitting a ball, which indicates the start of a race or a game. Another theory is that it comes from a rodeo term, where a cowboy would try to catch a calf or a steer as soon as it came out of the box or chute. A third theory is that it is a combination of two similar expressions: \"first crack\", meaning \"first attempt\", and \"right out of the box\", meaning \"from the beginning\".
The earliest recorded use of this phrase dates back to 1909, in a book called \"The Trail Drivers of Texas\" by J. Marvin Hunter. It says: \"He was always ready for anything that came up; always 'the first rattle out of the box,' as he expressed it.\" The phrase also appears in a 1922 novel by Sinclair Lewis called \"Babbitt\", where it says: \"He was busy now in developing his real-estate business and in building suburban housesânot for rent but for sale. He was president of the Linton Neighborhood Association; he had made up his mind to run for City Council in the fall and have a try at being Mayor in two years.\"
Usage of \"First Crack Out Of The Box\"
The phrase \"first crack out of the box\" is mainly used in informal speech and writing, especially in American English. It can be used to express eagerness, enthusiasm, competitiveness, or urgency. It can also be used to emphasize one's priority, advantage, or success. For example:
He gave me the first crack out of the box to buy his car before he advertised it online.
She was always the first crack out of the box to answer questions in class.
They were the first crack out of the box to launch their new product in the market.
However, this phrase is not very common nowadays and might sound outdated or old-fashioned to some people. It can also be confused with other similar phrases like \"first crack at\", \"first shot at\", or \"first whack at\", which have the same meaning but are more widely used. aa16f39245