Blue Crab Glossary
Source: University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service

Apron -- The crab abdomen which is folded under the body.
Bare Potting -- An unbaited pot is placed in a barren area where the crab goes for a place to hide.
Buck and Rider -- A pair of mating crabs; doubler.
Buckram Crab -- A crab past the paper shell stage but not in the true hard shell condition; approximately 12-24 hours after the shed.
Buffalo Crab -- Soft crab with the claws missing. Doorknob.
Buster -- Molting crab beginning to emerge from its shell.
Carapace -- The top part of the shell that is removed to clean the crab.
Channeler or Chandler -- Large male that remains in the deeper channels of the bay or river.
Dead Man's Fingers -- The gills, located under the carapace or top shell.
Doorknob -- Soft crab with the claws missing. Buffalo crab.
Doubler -- Male carrying female crab. Buck and Rider.
Fat Crab (also Green Crab, Snot Crab) -- Refers to a crab approaching the molting stage and showing a white-rim color sign within the margins of 2 outer segments of the swimming legs. Also describes any crab, between the Buckram and Peeler stages, with firm meat.
Green Crab -- White-rim crab. Sometimes the raw (uncooked) crab.
Hair Sign (Rim) Crab -- An early-stage, white-sign peeler.
Hard Crab -- Crab with a hard shell; following the buckram condition.
Jimmy Crab, Jimmy Dick, Jimmy Channeler -- Very large male crab. Channeler.
Jimmy Crabbing -- Male crab is tethered swimming on a string to catch a female.
Jimmy Potting -- Seasonal method for catching female crabs that did not reach terminal molt the year before. Two or three Jimmies are placed in a pot to attract females. Used during the last two weeks in May. No bait is used.
Lick -- Describes dredging for crabs. Dredge is drawn across the bottom to catch wintering crabs or summer soft shells.
Megalopa -- Final larval stage between zoea and crab stage.
Mustard -- Yellow substance in a cooked crab under the carapace. Has a strong taste and is part of the crab's digestive system.
Nicking or Breaking a Crab -- Break a moveable finger of the claws to prevent their use.
Paper Shell -- A crab past the soft shell stage but not yet a buckram. Approximately 9 to 12 hours after the molt.
Peeler Crab -- Hard crab that has a fully formed soft shell beneath. A red sign crab.
Pink Sign (Rim) Crab -- Following the white sign condition. A thin pink line along the inner border of the back fin (paddle) about 1 week before molt.
Rank or Rank Peeler -- Red sign peeler approximately 2 hours before busting.
Red Sign (Rim) Crab -- Following the pink sign stage. A thin red line along the inner border of the back fin (paddle) about 2 days before molt.
Sally Crab -- Immature female, the apron is still attached. She-crab.
Seconds -- Crabs that have just turned from a white sign to a pink sign. Pink sign crabs.
She-Crab -- Immature female.
Shed -- Either the empty shell or the process of casting off the shell.
Snot Crab -- White sign crab, so named because of the watery substance, which issues from the "nicking" of the claws.
Soft Crab -- Crab that has just shed its old shell and now has a soft pliable shell before hardening.
Sook -- A mature female.
Sponge Crab -- Female crab carrying an egg mass; berried crab; busted sook; cushion crab; lemon bellie; lemon crab; orange crab; punk; ballie.
Terminal Molt -- The final molt, usually associated with the female because, at this time, mating takes place while in the soft shell state.
"Ticky" Crab -- One that smells of iodoform, probably because of eating a marine bottom animal called Balanoglossus.
Water Gall, White Crab, Windjammer -- Crab that is almost in the hard shell condition or just hard and is very light in color and weight.
White Sign (Rim) Crab -- The fat, green or snot crab condition. A thin white line along the inner border of the back fin (paddle) about 2 weeks before molt.

Zoea -- The larva that hatches from the egg and continues until the megalopa stage.


Source: University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service