phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"Busting my chops"--origin

Posted by R. Berg on November 25, 2001

In Reply to: "Busting my chops" posted by R. Dixon on November 25, 2001

: Origin & meaning of "Busting my chops"?

"Chop" has meant jaw for about 500 years; earliest quotation in Oxford English Dict. is 1505. Earliest quot. for "chops," plural, meaning the jaws, the mouth, and the parts around the mouth, is 1589. It is in this sense that we speak of licking one's chops. OED says the plural "is the more usual form in contemptuous or humorous application to men." Representative quot.: "My chops begin to water" (Fielding, 1733).

I'll leave the meaning to those who are sure of it. The expression may be regional.

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