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What does ‘crack on’ phrase means. I've heared it in following use cases.

  • Boss is saying to us: 'Let's crack on' - and we start discussing projects.
  • Man is discussing with sombody: 'We've cracked on with that girl'

Can somebody explain it please.

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    "Boss is saying on a call to us..."
    – user3169
    Jun 30, 2016 at 21:27

5 Answers 5

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It appears to be British slang (at the very least). It also appears to have several meanings, but the relevant ones follow.

For the first one

Let's crack on

  1. “Crack on” can mean either “start” or “continue”, depending on the context and progress of the activity. [1]
  2. British slang meaning to resume an activity and similar to "get cracking" in American slang. [2]

So it sounds like it could mean, "Let's begin!" or "Let's continue!" depending one where you are in the process.

We've cracked on with that girl

  1. to try to become familiar with someone you would like to date. [2]

So it sounds like they hit on/flirted with the girl.

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To

crack on

does mean

to get going
keep going

and is indeed a very BrE idiom, The AmE equivalent would be

Let's get cracking!

However I think if one said

We've cracked on with that girl.
I've cracked on with that girl.

it would be understood to be much more than just flirting and would have a different meaning entirely. A bawdy barman I knew in London used to say jokingly to the Polish waitresses

Do you want to go to Kraków (pronounced 'crack-off') with me?

one of the waitresses, who was more in the know, once replied

I think you can do fine all by yourself!

he was using it as a double entendre.

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There are several uses for the slang term ‘crack’ in the UK vernacular and it really depends on the context.

  1. ‘Let’s crack on with...’ is accepted to mean ‘Make progress’ either by starting or resuming the activity that follows the phrase... eg - let’s crack on with the report means let’s get the report started, or let’s get moving on the report.

  2. ‘He’s onto a good crack’... here the word is used as a noun. The crack substituted for the word ‘thing’ ... it might be a car deal or other pursuit, but it usually tends to refer to employment of some sort and ‘a good crack’ might either be a well paid job or one with particularly good benefits.

  3. Crack - Commonly used in reference to cocaine.

  4. I can see your ‘crack’ in those jeans. A noun referring to the channel between the two muscles (gluteus maximum) that make up the bottom/behind/rear/bum.

  5. You ‘crack me up’ generally means I find you very funny and you make me laugh - a lot.

  6. ‘Crack on with’ ...a girl (or boy) - is similar to point 1 and it means ‘start with’ but in more specific terms of romantic or sexual intention, to start chatting up another individual with further intention.

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Crack on with = to restart / get on with / return to doing something / to apply focused action to whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. Generally used when the task has already begun but has been stalled temporarily for some reason.

The second phrase relating to flirting with another person should be 'cracked on to': 'I cracked on to my friend last night', as the action is being 'done' to someone else. No doubt the phrase has been misused with 'with', through misunderstanding of the correct grammar. Let's not forgot the common misuse of the word 'of' instead of 'have' as in 'I would 'of' cracked on with the task but I was tired' ...highlighting the problems caused by underfunding in state schools.

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    Hi Claire, thanks for your answer. Just be aware that this is a very old question (2016) and your answer is quite similar to existing answers. There are probably other newer questions that you could look at and answer.
    – James K
    Apr 5, 2022 at 22:14
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Boss is saying to us: 'Let's crack on' - and we start discussing projects.

This means continue and is usually used when time is being wasted or focus is not on the important task. So you might be discussing a new system at work and the conversation drifts to an old system and boss gets it back on track with 'let's crack on' i.e. forget about all that crap we have more important things to do.

Man is discussing with somebody: 'We've cracked on with that girl'

Would need to know the context but could be a similar usage to the boss scenario.

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