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chopstick

[chop-stik]
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noun
  1. one of a pair of thin, tapered sticks, often of wood or ivory, held in one hand between the thumb and fingers and used chiefly in China, Japan, and other Asian countries for lifting food to the mouth.

Origin of chopstick

1690–1700; Chinese Pidgin English chop quick (see chop-chop) + stick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for chopstick

n.

also chop-stick, 1690s, sailors' partial translation of Chinese k'wai tse, variously given as "fast ones" or "nimble boys," first element from pidgin English chop, from Cantonese kap "urgent." Chopsticks, the two-fingered piano exercise, is first attested 1893, probably from the resemblance of the fingers to chopsticks.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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