chow down

Idioms & Phrases

chow down

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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