- a pair of joined leather leggings, often widely flared, worn over trousers, especially by cowboys, as protection against burs, rope burns, etc., while on horseback.
Origin of chaps
- to crack, roughen, and redden (the skin): The windy, cold weather chapped her lips.
- to cause (the ground, wood, etc.) to split, crack, or open in clefts: The summer heat and drought chapped the riverbank.
- to become chapped.
- a fissure or crack, especially in the skin.
- Scot. a knock; rap.
Origin of chap1
- Chiefly British Informal: Older Use. a fellow; man or boy.
- Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a baby or young child.
- British Dialect. a customer.
Origin of chap2
Origin of chap3
Examples from the Web for chaps
I put monkeys on the sheep, and one was a cowboy in chaps and a cowboy hat, and one was a jockey in silks.Butter Sculptor Sharon BuMann on Her Art, ‘Butter’ Movie & More
September 22, 2012
“You chaps are very careless,” he scolds them, offering them the extra cash.American Dreams: Brewster’s Millions and Triumphant America
January 16, 2012
Yet, at the party conference and in Shadow Cabinet meetings and in Parliament, she regularly reduced these chaps to mush.Hitchens on Thatcher's Sex Appeal
January 12, 2012
One of our chaps, taking in a load of wounded, was chased and pelted the other day.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
They were both just back from India, and natty-lookin' chaps as you ever saw.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
I'll turn one of my chaps on to writing half a dozen letters to the Editor about it!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
We told these chaps we were deserters from the Bulwark, 74, and begged them to help us along.
These chaps seemed to value a man by the enormity and number of his crimes.
- leather overalls without a seat, worn by cowboysAlso called: chaparejos, chaparajos
- (of the skin) to make or become raw and cracked, esp by exposure to cold
- Scot (of a clock) to strike (the hour)
- Scot to knock (at a door, window, etc)
- (usually plural) a cracked or sore patch on the skin caused by chapping
- Scot a knock
- informal a man or boy; fellow
- a less common word for chop 3
Word Origin and History for chaps
1844, American English, short for chaparejos, from Mexican Spanish chaparreras, overalls worn to protect from chaparro (see chaparral).
"jaws, cheeks," from chap (n.), 1550s, of unknown origin. Hence, chap-fallen (1590s).
1570s, "customer," short for obsolete chapman "purchaser, trader" (see cheap). Colloquial sense of "lad, fellow" is first attested 1716 (cf. slang tough customer).
"to crack," mid-15c., chappen (intransitive) "to split, burst open;" "cause to crack" (transitive); perhaps a variant of choppen (see chop (v.), and cf. strap/strop), or related to Middle Dutch kappen "to chop, cut," Danish kappe, Swedish kappa "to cut." Related: Chapped; chapping. The noun meaning "fissure in the skin" is from late 14c.