1577, from M.E. cholle "fold of flesh hanging from the jaw" (c.1320), perhaps related to O.E. ceole "throat" (cognate of O.Ir. gop, Ir. gob "beak, mouth"). A slightly different jowl, meaning "jaw," evolved from O.E. ceafl, from P.Gmc. *kaflaz (cf. Ger. kiefer, O.N. kjaptr "jaw," Flem. kavel, Du. kevel "gum"), and the two words influenced one another in form and sense. The change from ch- to j- has not been explained.