AskDefine | Define crusty

Dictionary Definition

crusty adj
1 having a hardened crust as a covering [syn: crusted, encrusted, crustlike]
2 brusque and surly and forbidding; "crusty remarks"; "a crusty old man"; "his curmudgeonly temper"; "gruff manner"; "a gruff reply" [syn: curmudgeonly, gruff, ill-humored, ill-humoured] [also: crustiest, crustier]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Pertaining to or having a crust, as, for example, in the case of bread.
  2. In the context of "figurative|of a person or behavior": Short-tempered and gruff but, sometimes, with a harmless or benign inner nature; peevish, surly, harsh.


having a crust
  • Greek: ξεροψημένος
grumpy, short-tempered


  1. An old person.
  2. In the context of "mainly|UK": A tramp or homeless young person with poor cleanliness.
  3. Dried eye mucus.
    • 1999, Vinnie Hansen, Murder, Honey, Xlibris Corporation, ISBN 0-7388-0467-3, page 155,
      Against the backdrop of muted stripes of color, Julieanne picked at her eyes’ crusties, and then combed her hair with the hand.
    • 2003, Mary O'Connell, "Saint Anne", in Living with Saints, Grove Press, ISBN 0-8021-3926-4, page 209,
      Jesus, how could I bear the sight of him—sleep crusties lodged in the corners of his rheumy eyes, a puff of chest hair cresting like meringue over the top of his V-neck sweater, khakis jacked up to his breastbone—when I was used to looking at the singularly lovely Isabella?
    • 2005, Jeffrey Dinsmore, I, an Actress: The Autobiography of Karen Jamey, Contemporary Press, ISBN 0974461490, page 51,
      I wiped the crusties from my eyes, threw on a sundress, and wandered out into the living room.


  • "crusty" in Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation.
  • "crusty" in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus © Wordsmyth 2002.
  • "crusty (adj. easily annoyed)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • "crusty (n. an unwashed person)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • "crusty" in Compact Oxford English Dictionary, © Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.

Extensive Definition

Crusty is a generally term for members of a subculture that can best be described as an urban version of the New Age traveller . The trend was most widespread in the UK in the late 1980’s-1990’s but there are also international subsets such as crust punk. Members are noted for their unkempt appearance and are associated with raves, road protests, beggars, squatters, street entertainers and the young homeless
Typical dress styles involve combat fatigues, army boots, dreadlocks, body piercing, dyed hair and tattoos.. Crusties are seen as being typically young, homeless and unemployed. This association is such that the term “crusty” can often be because of their matted, dirty style of dress.
The scene revolved around bands such as New Model Army and The Levellers but these soon became more famous than their original fanbase would prefer Crusty politics are generally anarchic/libertarian, opposed to private property laws and are identified with historical movements such as The Diggers.

Origin of the term

The term may have come from Hellbastard, a crust punk band, although Amebix an earlier British band is commonly believed to have started the music style that became "crusty" by mixing elements of early black metal with Anarcho-punk, having taken much influence from the bands Crass, Venom, Black Sabbath, and Motörhead.
However, there is also a far less delicate view; that the word "crusty" reflects the consistency of dried body fluids and grime, especially on clothes or hair.


crusty in German: Crusties
crusty in Spanish: Crusties

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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