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OTHER FORMS: Rák
Meaning & History
Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Hungarian (Rák), and Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): from Slavic rak ‘crab’, ‘lobster’, or ‘crayfish’. This was applied as an occupational name for someone who caught and sold crayfish, crabs, or lobsters, or as a nickname to someone thought to resemble such a creature. In Polish, the word is found in several idioms, for example, czerwony jak rak ‘red as a lobster’. In Slovenian, it only means ‘crayfish’.