Crop – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Have you seen a video that you like on a social media website like TikTok and would like to share part of the video as a screenshot? You could use the term ‘crop’ to let your message get through to the content creator as a comment. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this term.


The term ‘crop’ is a common term that is used to mean “to reduce the size (or scope) of” when referring to videos or photographs. The basic meaning of the term ‘to crop’ means to cut.

‘Crop’ appears often in comments on TikTok, YouTube and other social media platforms with visual content. Usually, the meaning of the term is to ask the content creator to alter the dimensions of the video so that a screenshot can be taken.

The term ‘crop’ can also be used in a general sense to mean that someone has to ‘crop’ something as the action, or it can be used in the past tense to say that something has been ‘cropped’.

Sometimes the term is used as part of a sentence where the context is obvious from what’s being said, but the term can also sometimes be used on its own as a comment – an indication to the content creator or creators.

This isn’t the only meaning of the term ‘crop’ though.

‘Crop’ can also be used to refer to a collection of agricultural plants – e.g. a crop of wheat. The term can also refer to the action of ‘cropping wheat’ or other plants though this term is usually not used on social media much.

One more alternate meaning of the term ‘crop’ is to refer to something that is lame, although this is a regional expression that is mostly used in Virginia according to Urban Dictionary.

Example Usage

“Girlfriend, you really shouldn’t have cropped your hair at that weird salon. The guy charged you double, but he might have made you single!”

“Ew, this  photo has your mother in it even though you look pretty great. I’m going to say that you’ll have to crop her out first.”

“If you don’t want your daughter in that photograph, just use the crop function on your phone.”

“That’s a great video, but I’d like to post a screenshot of 1:33 without the logo. Crop”


The origin of the term ‘crop’ can be traced back to Old English, where the term “cropp” used to refer to the cutting of the top of almost any useful or medicinal plant.

The term ‘crop’ would later evolve to a term used in photography and video editing to signify the altering of the dimensions associated with an image.

Online the term ‘crop’ has been used since the advent of digital images and the ability to change their size and perspective.

The term ‘crop’ as used on TikTok and social media would become popular in 2022 as a comment, when users made it common for ‘crop’ to be a simple comment to indicate the action to the video’s creator.

Phrases Similar to Crop

  • Chop
  • Cut

Phrases Opposite to Crop

  • Resize

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Crop
  • Cropped
  • Cropping

Ways People May Say Crop Incorrectly

There are several different ways in which the term ‘crop’ can be used in the incorrect way, especially if the context of the term is misunderstood.

While the term ‘crop’ has several different meanings that include agricultural references, this is not what most of the comments that say ‘crop’ will mean.

Usually, the term ‘crop’ is only used as a reference to the alteration of video or photo dimensions.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Crop

The correct way to use the term ‘crop’ is as a comment, usually one that asks for a ‘crop’ from the content creator.

‘Crop’, ‘cropped’ and ‘cropping’ can also be used in reference to the act of altering (or having altered) a screenshot or video.

Rarely, the terms can also refer to a haircut.

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