One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounNZ, North American, Australian
1A stream, brook, or minor tributary of a river.
stream, rivulet, brook, river, tributary, backwaterView synonyms
- ‘Fireflies danced about and the creek water seemed to glow from the moon's reflection.’
- ‘The seven men had spread out and were riding along the dry creek bed.’
- ‘Her lion tail flicked idly behind her as she walked towards the nearby creek.’
- ‘Damp mornings are excellent for this detail, especially in low areas such as draws and creek bottoms.’
- ‘The creek is flowing strong from all the runoff and spring thaw.’
- ‘In the western suburbs, creeks rose rapidly and flooded houses.’
- ‘Firefighters used a fork lift truck to rescue a stricken horse from a muddy creek.’
- ‘They are as at home in a mossy rock pool or muddy creek as on a spectacular wreck.’
- ‘In a few areas, rock and snow slides dammed creeks, creating small lakes.’
- ‘Recently I was wading down a shallow creek in what I assumed was fresh water.’
- ‘After hours of hard training, everyone took turns taking baths in a nearby creek.’
- ‘She was able to drink from a nearby creek, but she had no food.’
- ‘We angled up a slope, rising away from the creek bottom.’
- ‘Nearby, a smaller lake was created by damming a tributary creek.’
- ‘The equestrian trails are densely wooded, rocky and hilly with several small creek crossings.’
- ‘They rested by a small creek running through the woods that had started to become more profuse.’
- ‘They turned away from the waterfall and watched the creek flowing, listened to it.’
- ‘There is a tiny creek meandering among the rocks, which is also believed to have healing powers.’
- ‘He earned his nickname playing near a muddy creek as a child.’
- ‘Anya let the cool water run over her as she lay down in the shallow creek.’
- 1.1 An inlet in a shoreline, a channel in a marsh, or another narrow, sheltered waterway.
tidal inlet, inlet, arm of the sea, estuary, bay, bight, fjord, gulf, soundView synonyms
- ‘In the south, coconut palms grow on a narrow coastal strip broken by lagoons and creeks.’
- ‘Shouts of protest ensue when students realize they have to ford a creek to get to the beach.’
- ‘Coastal migrants can often be found along tidal creeks, salt marsh edges, and mudflats, rarely on sandy ocean beaches.’
- ‘My eyes scan the pewter-grey mudbanks and mudflats and a distant shoreline etched with filigrees of sinuous creeks.’
- ‘Between the cliffs and the sea, the rhythmic movement of the tides is forming a new tidal marsh that includes mudflats, tidal creeks, tidal marshes, and tracts of shrubs.’
- ‘Endless creeks and sounds divide the land up into a series of broad, semi-connected sandbars and islands, and the road loops along with bridge after bridge over wide, shallow waterways.’
- ‘Walnut Creek is where he was picked up.’
- ‘Corsica rises like a mountain from the sea, creating a coast of steep cliffs and countless creeks, interspersed with tiny deserted beaches, and washed by crystal-clear water.’
- ‘Marcus tells Frank to pack his bags because they are heading to Twin Creeks.’
- ‘At the tidal swamps, the shore is a low, narrow levee separating the waters of the creeks from the backwaters of the swamps.’
- ‘Pristine beaches, maritime forests, shimmering marshes, and tidal creeks await your exploration.’
- ‘Extensive oyster reefs blanketed the mudflats along the state's tidal creeks and fueled the thriving industry.’
- ‘These were used for storing shellfish after they had been collected from nearby saltmarsh creeks and before they were taken to markets.’
- ‘Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.’
- ‘To reach the village the soldiers had to cross a small tidal creek running gently into the ocean.’
- ‘Terrapins have been observed in several of the marsh creeks, but not in all of the creeks where searches were completed.’
- ‘Mudflats lie lower in the upper intertidal zone than marshes and are smooth, almost level surfaces across which tidal creeks meander.’
- ‘A serpentine array of tidal creeks lined with tall-form Spartina occur throughout the marsh.’
- ‘Then during the spring months, the mesh bags are planted on creek banks during low tide.’
be up the creek (without a paddle)
informal Be in severe difficulty or trouble, especially with no means of extricating oneself from it.
in difficulty, in difficulties, having problems, in a mess, in a bad way, in a predicament, in desperate straits, in dire straits, heading for disaster, heading for the rocks, with one's back against the wallView synonyms
- ‘As for labor market ‘fluidity,’ what that really means is your middle-class job is gone and you're up the creek without a paddle - adios chump.’
- ‘And I'm up the creek without a paddle if I leave my daily medications, vitamins, eyeglasses, toothbrush or umbrella behind.’
- ‘Great thinking Julie, we would been up the creek without a paddle if you wouldn't have brought that up.’
- ‘Should he overlook her he could be up the creek without a paddle.’
- ‘The couple and their three children were forced to move to the new house because they had already sold the old one and David said: ‘We're up the creek without a paddle.’’
- ‘Now, to their utter dismay, that hasn't happened and with IRA decommissioning, about to utterly change the face of Northern politics, political unionism is up the creek without a paddle.’
- ‘And since I live on my own I was up the creek without a paddle.’
- ‘That could only last a short time, and any service requiring samples would be up the creek without a paddle.’
- ‘Well, it seems I'm up the creek without a paddle.’
- ‘But it seems that Dawson remains up the creek without a paddle.’
be up shit creek
- see shit
Middle English: from Old French crique or from Old Norse kriki ‘nook’; perhaps reinforced by Middle Dutch krēke; of unknown ultimate origin.
1A member of a confederacy of American Indian peoples of the southeastern US in the 16th to 19th centuries whose descendants now live mainly in Oklahoma.
- ‘Joan Hill is a Creek / Cherokee painter who has received numerous recognition awards, grants, and fellowships in the art world.’
- ‘Particularly at issue were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indians of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida - the so-called Five Civilized Tribes.’
- ‘Born to a Creek mother and Shawnee father at Old Piqua, a Shawnee village on the Mad River in Ohio, Tecumseh was raised by an older sister and grew to manhood during the border warfare of the Revolutionary Era.’
- ‘Essays cover the Timucua, Guale, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Caddo, Natchez, Quapaw, Cherokee, Upper Creek, Lower Creek, and Seminole Indians.’
- ‘And there is the tale of Jimmy Crowe, a Creek Indian from Okfuskee County, Okla., who, as a teenager, works for the Mennonites as a carpenter and subsequently becomes a preacher.’
2The Muskogean language of the Creek.
- ‘It has Slovak, Inuit, Creek, and Italian, but its all Greek to me.’
Relating to or denoting the Creek.
- ‘With the help of a Creek student named James Perryman, Presbyterian minister John Fleming created a phonetic alphabet for Muskogee.’
- ‘Red Eagle was born Bill Weatherford, son of a white trader and a Creek mother whose maiden name had been Tait.’
- ‘After three decades the divisions between those of the traditional and new orders erupted in a Creek civil war.’
- ‘In 1814, a Creek faction, the Red Sticks, rose against settlers in the South but was crushed by General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.’
- ‘One of the first men Seekaboo enlisted was Josiah Francis, the son of an English trader and a Creek mother.’
From creek, because they lived beside the waterways of the flatlands of Georgia and Alabama.
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