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A cripple is a person or animal with a physical disability, particularly one who is unable to walk because of an injury or illness. The word was recorded as early as 950 AD, and derives from the Proto-Germanic krupilaz. The German and Dutch words Krüppel and kreupel are cognates.

The word generally came to be regarded as pejorative when used for people, in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada during the 1960s. Of late, in other English-speaking countries, the term is still widely used without pejorative connotations. Cripple is also a transitive verb, meaning "cause a disability or inability".


Cripples movement

In the 1970s and 1980s, in Germany, the autonomous disability rights movement, also called the cripples movement, took confidently claim for themselves, this word in the sense of a reappropriation. The cripple tribunal in Dortmund on 13 December 1981 was one of the main protest actions of the autonomous German disability movement (in confrontation with the established disability assistance) against human rights abuses in nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals, as well as against deficiencies of local public transport. Analogous to the Russell Tribunal by Amnesty International, the cripple tribunal has denounced human rights violations of disabled people.

Cripple may also refer to:



  • Crippleware, a type of shareware or freeware that lacks full functionality

Mass media

Criminal organizations

  • Crips street gang were so named by their early carrying of a cane which gave the impression they were crippled.

Building construction

Railway jargon

  • A cripple is a goods wagon or a passenger coach which although safe to run on the railway, is not fit for use and requires a repair before it can be used in service. This could be a coal wagon with a hole in the floor (which would allow coal to fall out of the wagon), or a passenger coach with a broken window.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cripple" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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