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It's nautical

Posted by R. Berg on August 16, 2001

In Reply to: Choc-a-bloc posted by Sarah Tree on August 16, 2001

: Can't find the origin of "choc-a-bloc". Any ideas?

The Oxford English Dictionary has this:
Chock-a-block (Naut.), said of a tackle with the two blocks run close together so that they touch each other--the limit of hoisting; transf., jammed or crammed close together.
"Hauling the reef-tackles chock-a-block" (Richard Henry Dana, "Two Years Before the Mast," 1840).