A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Chipper

With its well-established usage in English public schools, it comes as a surprise to learn that this word meaning lively and in good spirits is of Ame...

Read More


Chippie/chippy

British slang for either a carpenter or a fish and chip shop and dates in both senses from the late 19th century. Carpenters aboard ships have been ca...

Read More


Chips (had his or her chips)

If someone has lost his or her chips, it means the poor loser has either lost some sort of contest or, more seriously, have passed away. The expressio...

Read More


Chips are down

see When the chips are down


Chips, let the chips fall where they may

The original quotation is from a speech by US Senator Roscoe Conkling in Chicago on 5 June 1880, nominating Ulysses Grant for a third term as Presiden...

Read More


Chit

An abbreviation of chitty and is Anglo-Indian from the late 18th century, while chitty itself dates from about one hundred years earlier; means a lett...

Read More


Chit-chat

Chit, chat, chitter, chatter are all words imitative of the sounds that birds make and all these words date from The Middle Ages. All of them soon bec...

Read More


Chitty

see Chit


Chivvy (along)

To chivvy is to harass persistently and dates from the late 18th century. It is merely a variation of chevy, a word meaning a hunt or chase, which der...

Read More


Choc-ice

British derogatory term for someone who is black/coloured on the outside and white on the inside, implying non-adherence to original racial background...

Read More


Chock-a-block

Chock-a-block means crammed full or crammed tightly together and is originally a nautical expression dating from the early 19th century. It is sometim...

Read More


Chockfull

see Chock-a-block


Choked off

Annoyed, angry, deterred or discouraged in some way this figurative usage dates from the late 1920s and derives from the act of choking or pulling bac...

Read More


Chop and change

Back in the 1400s, to chop meant to barter deriving from the Old English ceapian from which we get the word cheap. Thus, the archaic meaning of chop a...

Read More


Chop Suey

Contrary to popular myth, chop suey is not a Chinese-style dish invented in America although it was introduced into America by Chinese immigrant worke...

Read More


back to top