Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


It was with some trepidation that Pierre set out for the creek.

I have said that the Carters owed their little farm to the creek.

Had the creek been their only creditor the Carters would have been fortunate.

We were toasting them at a fire we had made close to a creek, to stay our appetites.

It came up from and disappeared into the creek, so I was sure it must have been a Gahonga.

As we crossed the creek Suh-tai made a line and said the words that made it Medicine.

With deepened discomfort, Martin hurried to the creek to water the horses.

I continued the descent, and crossed the creek to where the unfortunate Tulp was waiting for me.

He would come out and get it, and then we would shout to each other across the creek.

A portion of the Northern force was driven back on the creek.


mid-15c., creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," altered from kryk (early 13c.; in place names from 12c.), probably from Old Norse kriki "corner, nook," perhaps influenced by Anglo-French crique, itself from a Scandinavian source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook and with an original notion of "full of bends and turns" (cf. dialectal Swedish krik "corner, bend; creek, cove").

Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1570s, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in American English (1620s). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often especially "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol."


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.