A to Z Quick Tips 08 | Chew the Fat

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In this Quick Tok episode, Jack explains the meaning behind the idiom “chew the fat.”

Meaning: To have a casual and friendly conversation, often while passing the time or relaxing. It implies engaging in idle or leisurely chitchat.

Example: “Whenever they meet up, they like to sit on the porch and chew the fat over a cup of coffee.”

The origin of the idiom “chew the fat” is not entirely clear, but there are a few theories about its origins.

One theory suggests that the phrase comes from the practice of sailors or soldiers sharing a piece of fat or tough meat and chewing on it while they conversed. Since it took time to chew the tough food, they would have extended conversations during their mealtime.

Another possible origin comes from the 16th and 17th centuries when “fat” was used to describe information or gossip. People would gather around and discuss the latest news or rumors while “chewing the fat.”

Overall, while the exact origin remains uncertain, it is believed to have originated from informal gatherings where people engaged in leisurely conversation and shared news, gossip, or stories while taking their time chewing on food or fat. Over time, the phrase “chew the fat” has evolved into a common idiom used to describe friendly and relaxed conversations.

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