This word appeared at the beginning of the eighteenth century, apparently suggested by existing words such as ‘chunk’, ‘clump’, and ‘stump’. It was at first used of an end piece of wood, then the blunt end of anything, such as a cut of meat. Chump-chops retain this sense of the word. The associations with thickness and bluntness caused ‘chump’ to be applied humorously to people. It was a fashionable word amongst British schoolboys of the 1920s, parallel to ‘idiot’ or ‘blockhead’. Typical examples of public-school usage occur in Mike, by P.G.Wodehouse. The word remains in occasional vocative use as a very mild insult, similar to ‘clot’. It is used in a friendly way in The Limits of Lord, by Frederic Raphael. In Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis, the hero admonishes himself by saying ‘Have some sense now, you chump’. Rabbit is Rich, by John Updike, has: ‘You chump, that’s not the point.’
   This occurs in the middle of a friendly conversation, spoken by a man to another man. That the term can be used more aggressively is shown in The Choirboys, by Joseph Wambaugh: ‘“Gimme that wallet,” Calvin said suddenly. “Ain’t that illegal search and seizure, Officer?” asked the pimp. “Gimme that wallet, chump, or it’s gonna be a search and squeezure of your fuckin’ neck!”’

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chump — may refer to: Someone who is gullible A lamb meat cut (UK Canada) The Chump, a 2002 film directed by Sam Fell The Chumps, nickname for NASA Astronaut Group 20 Chump (song) Chumps on Parade, a ska album by MU330 Chumpy Chumps, AKA The Chumpy Chump …   Wikipedia

  • Chump — (ch[u^]mp), n. [Cf. Icel. kumbr a chopping, E. chop.] 1. A short, thick, heavy piece of wood. Morton. [1913 Webster] 2. a stupid person; a fool; a dolt; also, a dupe. [PJC] {Chump end}, the thick end; as, the chump end of a joint of meat. Dickens …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chump — [tʃʌmp] n [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: chump thick piece of wood (18 19 centuries), perhaps from chunk + lump] 1.) informal someone who is silly or stupid, and who is easily deceived 2.) chump chop/steak BrE a thick piece of meat with a bone in it …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chump — [ tʃʌmp ] noun count 1. ) INFORMAL OLD FASHIONED a stupid person who is easily tricked 2. ) BRITISH a thick end of a piece of meat: a chump chop off your chump BRITISH INFORMAL OLD FASHIONED crazy …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • chump — [chump] n. [akin to ON kumba, block of wood, MHG kumpf, dull] 1. a heavy block of wood 2. Informal a foolish, stupid, or gullible person; dupe or fool off one s chump [Brit. Slang] insane; crazy …   English World dictionary

  • chump — 1703, short, thick lump of wood, akin to O.N. kumba block of wood. Meaning blockhead is first attested 1883. Chump change attested by 1950 …   Etymology dictionary

  • chump — ► NOUN 1) informal, dated a foolish person. 2) Brit. the thick end of something, especially a loin of lamb or mutton. ORIGIN originally in the sense «thick lump of wood»: probably a blend of CHUNK(Cf. ↑chunk) and LUMP(Cf. ↑lump) or STUMP(Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • chump — chump1 chumpish, adj. chumpishness, n. /chump/, n. 1. Informal. a stupid person; dolt: Don t be a chump she s kidding you along. 2. a short, thick piece of wood. 3. the thick, blunt end of anything. 4. Slang. the head. 5. of …   Universalium

  • chump — UK [tʃʌmp] / US noun [countable] Word forms chump : singular chump plural chumps 1) informal old fashioned a stupid person who is easily tricked 2) British a thick end of a piece of meat a chump chop …   English dictionary

  • chump — /tʃʌmp / (say chump) noun 1. Colloquial a blockhead or dolt. 2. a short thick piece of wood. 3. the thick blunt end of anything. 4. Colloquial the head. 5. Meat Industry a section of lamb, hogget or mutton, between the leg and the loin, each… …  

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”