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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 chugging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then pretty soon I couldn't hear the chugging any more at all.

    Roy Blakeley Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • Still the only reply to his monologue was the chugging of the engine.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • Inside, it was cool and bright, the chugging air-conditioners efficiently blasting purified air over the many work-surfaces.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • The last of the motors were chugging up the driveway as he left.

    Spring Street James H. Richardson
  • I was in the poultry yard, doctoring some of my chickens for the pip, when I heard a great puffing and chugging in the road.

British Dictionary definitions for chugging


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 chugging



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 chugging

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]

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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