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90s Slang You Should Know


[chuhg] /tʃʌg/
a short, dull, explosive sound:
the steady chug of an engine.
verb (used without object), chugged, chugging.
to make this sound:
The motor chugged.
to move while making this sound:
The train chugged along.
Origin of chug1
An Americanism dating back to 1865-70; imitative
Related forms
chugger, noun


[chuhg] /tʃʌg/ Slang.
verb (used with object), chugged, chugging.
verb (used without object), chugged, chugging.
to drink something in large gulps:
to chug on a bottle of beer.
a large gulp or swallow:
He finished his beer in two chugs.
imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chug
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "That part of it's all right," chug confided to the Weld girl.

    Half Portions Edna Ferber
  • I had a feeling that every chug of the motor was carrying him further and further out of my life.

    The Prairie Child Arthur Stringer
  • If you had told Chippewa that it was criminally ignoring chug's crying need it would have put you down as mad.

    Half Portions Edna Ferber
  • The third went true, striking with a chug and packing the crack.

    Winter Dallas Lore Sharp
  • A chug chug of a starting engine came faintly to his ears, and he felt a swift forward movement of the seat on which he was lying.

  • For a minute nothing is heard but the chug, chug, chug of the train.

    Harvard Stories Waldron Kintzing Post
British Dictionary definitions for chug


a short dull sound, esp one that is rapidly repeated, such as that made by an engine
verb chugs, chugging, chugged
(intransitive) (of an engine, etc) to operate while making such sounds
Word Origin
C19: of imitative origin
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
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Word Origin and History for chug

1866, echoic of a working steam engine. As a verb, from 1884. Related: Chugged; chugging. Drinking sense attested by 1940s (chug-a-lug), probably imitative of the sound of swallowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chug

chug 1


To drink very quickly and in volume, as alcohol: chugged six milks at lunch

chug 2


To move along, esp slowly and laboriously: The USS Saratoga came chugging up the Delaware

[1900+; echoic of an engine, esp a steam engine, operating]



To drink the whole of what is in a glass or bottle without pausing: I tried to chug-a-lug a quart bottle of Schaefer/ He chugged a liter of vodka and dropped dead

[1940s+; echoic of the sound of repeated swallowing; perhaps related to Scots dialect chug, ''a short tug or pull'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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