Origin of chow1
Related Words for chow downfeed, inhale, absorb, ingest, devour, guzzle, swallow, exhaust, ravage, gobble, destroy, eat, chew, dine, bite, nibble, attack, pick, mow, gulp
verb (intr, adverb foll by on)
"food," 1856, American English (originally in California), from Chinese pidgin English chow-chow (1795) "food," reduplication of Chinese cha or tsa "mixed." The dog breed of the same name is from 1886, of unknown origin, but some suggest a link to the Chinese tendency to see dogs as edible.
Eat, as in He's always ready to chow down at dinner time. Originally military slang, this term is now more widely used. The noun chow in the sense of food, originating from either Chinese or pidgin English in the 18th century, also appears in such terms as chow line, a line of people waiting for food, and chow time, mealtime. [Slang; mid-1900s]