Chop and change
What's the meaning of the phrase 'Chop and change'?
To change and change again.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Chop and change'?
Chop is a now archaic word which has been used for centuries to mean 'change suddenly' (see chop-chop).
The first printed example of 'chop and change' that we have is from the 1485 Digby Mysteries:
"I choppe and chaunge with symonye, and take large yiftes."
Robert Greene's The Blacke Bookes Messenger - The Life and death of Ned Browne, a notable Cutpurse and Conny-catcher [thief and cheat], 1592, makes the meaning explicit:
...in casting mine eye on a pretty wench, a mans wife well knowne about London, I fell in loue with her ... whereuppon her husband, a kind Knaue, and one euerie way as base a companion as my selfe, agreed to me, and we bet a bargaine, that I should haue his Wife, and he should haue mine ... so wee like two good Horse-corsers, made a choppe and change.