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See also: Crickets



A recording of a fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus)

Etymology 1[edit]

Sense 2 is derived from the cinematic metaphor of chirping crickets at night, signaling (otherwise) complete quiet.



  1. plural of cricket.
  2. (US, Canada, slang, humorous) Used alone or in metaphorically descriptive phrases: absolute silence; no communication.
    Since then, I've received no response. Not a word. Just... crickets.
    We asked for an explanation, but all we got were crickets.
    • 2007, Jill Kargman, Momzillas, New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books, →ISBN:
      "We have one exclusive one block from Bee on Fifth and Seventy-third. Prewar. White-glove. Top-notch." His Queen's English posh London accent made it sound extra-fabulous. [] / "Do you maybe have any listings that are less? Like ... four million less?" I asked, semi-blushing. / "Four million or less? Sure!" / "No, no, no," I said. "Not four million or less. Four million less than five point three million, i.e., something in the one-to-one-and-a-half range." / "Oh." / Crickets.
    • 2015 September 14, Monica Davey, “Panel studying racial divide in Missouri presents a blunt picture of inequity [print version: Report blunt on race inequity, International New York Times, 15 September 2015, page 7]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Maria Chapelle-Nadal, a Democratic state senator, said she feared that the commission's findings would be announced with great fanfare, "but then we're just going to hear crickets, crickets, crickets."
    • 2016 June 27, Ellen Barry, “To U.S. in ’70s, a dissenting diplomat. To Bangladesh, ‘a true friend.’ [print version: A dissenter remembered: Diplomat pushed U.S. to condemn Pakistan’s 1971 assault on Dhaka, International New York Times, 29 June 2016, page 2]”, in The New York Times[2]:
      Stopping a group of teenage boys at a museum [in Bangladesh] devoted to the 1971 war, I asked them which American leaders had played an important role in the conflict. Henry A. Kissinger? They looked at me with blank faces. Richard M. Nixon? Crickets.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “I'd guess it's a variant of Christ, but does anyone know for certain?”



  1. Expressing mild annoyance or surprise.
    Oh, crickets! I can’t believe how forgetful I am.
    • 1859, S[arah] Annie Frost, “Misfortune”, in Parlor Charades and Proverbs: Intended for the Parlor or Saloon, and Requiring No Expensive Apparatus of Scenery or Properties for Their Performance, Philadelphia, Pa.: J. B. Lippincott & Co., OCLC 79622064, page 39:
      Seraphina. You have more money, Betsy, than you will know how to spend; all your own. / Betsy. Oh, gracious! Won't I have as much dinner as I can eat every day! / Mrs. Green. Yes, my love, you can have everything you wish for. / Betsy. Oh, crickets!
    • 1902, George Ade, “The Fable of the Long-range Lover, the Lollypaloozer, and the Line of Talk”, in The Girl Proposition. A Bunch of He and She Fables, New York, N.Y.: R. H. Russell, OCLC 776243245; republished Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Literature House, 1969, OCLC 695700303, page 9:
      "Oh Crickets! I seen you at the The-ayter one Night," she said. "I was there with Ollie Pozozzle of Minneapolis. Me and him come out just behind you. []"
    • 2014, Patricia Arnold, chapter 3, in Brooke and the Fairy Merry Christmas (The Magical Murphy Farm; 5), [s.l.]: Marquette Press:
      In the early hours of the morning, Arabelia was deep in thought as she looked over several scrolls. She worried she would never find any word of the missing snow globe even with all the fairies helping her to read. Everyone was getting very tired. / "Oh crickets! I need some rest!" Aurora said. / "Go on ahead, Aurora. But before you take a nap, can you put this scroll back up on the shelf?" Arabelia asked. Aurora responded with a light snoring sound.




  1. indefinite genitive singular of cricket.