Posted by Jerry on October 30, 2001
In Reply to: Oh, and another thing posted by ESC on May 28, 2000
: : : : : A co-worker and myself were discussing the phrase "chomping
at the bit"
: : : : : He insists that the phrase is actually "champing at the bit" but has been changed
: : : : : over time.
: : : : : Can you please settle this debate ... If you could provide
the origin and meaning behing
: : : : : the saying that would be great!!!
: : : : : Thanks
: : : : I haven't found it yet. But it has got to be "chomping at the bit" as in a horse chomping or biting at its bit, ready to be on its way.
: : : In the 14th century it was "champing." The pronounciation has changed to chomping, but the sense is the same. I tend to use "champing" but I'm a 14th century kind of guy, so I think you could use either without raising eyebrows.
: : You asked about origins. The dictionary reports that it's "probably imitative." Seems reasonable. If you say champ champ champ champ champ champ rapidly, it sounds horse-like.
: Goes to show you never can tell. Here I'd been going around saying "chomping" all this time.