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  1. Usually chops. the jaw.
  2. chops,
    1. the oral cavity; mouth.
    2. Slang.the embouchure or technique necessary to play a wind instrument.
    3. Slang.musical ability on any instrument, especially in playing jazz or rock; technical virtuosity.
    4. Slang.the music or musical part played by an instrumentalist, especially a solo passage.
  3. an entranceway, as into a body of water.
  4. Horology. either of two pieces clasping the end of the suspension spring of a pendulum.
  1. bust one's chops, Slang. to exert oneself.
  2. bust someone's chops, Slang. to annoy with nagging or criticism: Stop busting my chops—I'll get the job done.
  3. lick one's chops, to await with pleasure; anticipate; relish: He was already licking his chops over the expected inheritance.
Also chap.

Origin of chop3

1350–1400; Middle English; perhaps special use of chop1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for bust chops


verb chops, chopping or chopped
  1. (often foll by down or off) to cut (something) with a blow from an axe or other sharp tool
  2. (tr) to produce or make in this mannerto chop firewood
  3. (tr often foll by up) to cut into pieces
  4. (tr) British informal to dispense with or reduce
  5. (intr) to move quickly or violently
  6. sport to hit (a ball) sharply downwards
  7. boxing martial arts to punch or strike (an opponent) with a short sharp blow
  8. Western African an informal word for eat
  1. a cutting blow
  2. the act or an instance of chopping
  3. a piece chopped off
  4. a slice of mutton, lamb, or pork, generally including a rib
  5. Australian and NZ slang a share (esp in the phrase get or hop in for one's chop)
  6. Western African an informal word for food
  7. Australian and NZ a competition of skill and speed in chopping logs
  8. sport a sharp downward blow or stroke
  9. not much chop Australian and NZ informal not much good; poor
  10. the chop slang dismissal from employment

Word Origin

C16: variant of chap 1


verb chops, chopping or chopped
  1. (intr) to change direction suddenly; vacillate (esp in the phrase chop and change)
  2. obsolete to barter
  3. chop logic to use excessively subtle or involved logic or argument

Word Origin

Old English ceapian to barter; see cheap, chapman


  1. a design stamped on goods as a trademark, esp in the Far East

Word Origin

C17: from Hindi chhāp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bust chops



"to cut with a quick blow," mid-14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old North French choper (Old French coper "to cut, cut off," 12c., Modern French couper), from Vulgar Latin *cuppare "to behead," from a root meaning "head," but influenced in Old French by couper "to strike." Related: Chopped; chopping.



"shift quickly," 1530s, earlier "to bargain" (early 15c.), ultimately from Old English ceapian "to bargain" (see cheap); here with a sense of "changing back and forth," probably from common expressions such as to chop and change "barter." To chop logic is recorded from 1570s. Related: Chopped; chopping.



"act of chopping," mid-14c., from chop (v.1). Meaning "piece cut off" is mid-15c.; specifically "slice of meat" from mid-17c. Sense of "a blow, strike" is from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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