[Ads-l] champ/chomp (on/at ) the bit, fig.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 3 21:17:29 UTC 2020

OED: 1885. "champ" only.

1832 _The [London] Examiner_ (May 6) 1: He has kept the country champing on
the bit, to raise its mettle, and make it feel its ground.

1832 _The [London] Examiner_ (Jun 3) 6: Petruchio's wondering spouse...is
champing the bit, as it were.

1836 _Richmond Enquirer_ (Jan. 18) I have been said to [be]...champing the
bit for action.

1860 _The Daily Globe_ (Washington, D.C.) (July 3) 3: Can it be that
gentlemen of Mississippi...are champing on the bit of legal restraint to
Christianize...the entire continent of Africa?

1880 _Plain Dealer_ (Cleveland, O.) (Dec. 3) 2: The Republican Senator and
Representatives from Cuyahoga county are "feeling their oats," and are
"champing at the bit" in their desire to vote for Sherman or Foster. Which?

1889 _Oklahoma State Capital_ (Guthrie, Okla.) (Sept. 7) 2: You can expect
most any thing [sic] of "Honest" John when he gets to chomping the bit.

1917 _Omaha World-Herald_ (March 24) 13: Chomping on the Bit -- ...We're
like a horse, ready for the race, chomping on the bit, feverish to show you
this beautiful line of men's and youth's clothing.

1928 _Brownsville [Tex.] Herald_ (Nov. 21) 4: Brooks is..."chomping at the
bit" for a get-away.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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