chock/chuck (it) up (to)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 5 00:06:21 UTC 2011

On Sep 4, 2011, at 7:18 PM, victor steinbok wrote:

> Would that make for "chuck outline" or "chock outline"? Somehow, I have not
> encountered much confusion over that one.

You wouldn't expect the confusion there, given the transparent role of "chalk" in such cases.  The reanalysis of "chalk it up to" is on my surmise prompted by both the vowel shift (which makes one (wo)man's "chalk" sound like another's "chock" or "chuck") and the loss of transparency in the expression itself.  But then that's the story (modulo other phonological processes) for a good number of eggcorns.

> Or is the origin of this one
> painfully obvious?

Right, so I would imagine.  Maybe if chalk went out of use and the outlines remained as plot points in TV mysteries, but created with charcoal or the like, "chuck/chock outline" would become plausible.

> I did wonder for a time, what's in "chalk full o'nuts"?

Safer not to ask, but I'm sure it's a good coffee to drink alongside one's chalk steak or ground chalk.


> On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:
>> ...
>> One point that's not mentioned in the write-ups at the Eggcorn Database
>> is the possibility of reinterpretation due to the Northern Cities vowel
>> shift, which notoriously affects vowels in words like "chock", "chuck",
>> and "chalk"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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