Definition of crippled
A person "crippled" is literally a person who cannot use their legs and/or arms in a normal way. It can also mean someone who is crippled. A player is said to be crippled when he has had almost all of his chips "amputated". A player who was a chip leader with 250 big blinds, loses a huge pot and ends up with 4 blinds is a crippled player. To be precise, the term crippled will not be used to describe a small stack simply, but is used to describe a situation where a player had a big or very big stack and as a result of a monumental loss in one hand, he now has 1 foot to the exit.
Use of the term crippled
The use of this word is marginal, both on the French and English sides. To describe a situation where a player does not have a lot of chips (without ever having had a big stack) we would say that he is shortstack (a small stack). The term crippled also implies that our chances of winning the tournament are low. But as the expression "a chip and a chair" is there to remind us, even if we run out of chips, we have a chance of winning any tournament; all we need is a chip and a chair.