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Related to chalk up: worse for wear
1. Literally, to write something in chalk, as on a chalkboard. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "up." Once I finish chalking up tonight's homework assignment, we can discuss last night's reading.
2. To earn something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "up." After you chalk up enough frequent flier miles, you will be able to get plane tickets for free.
3. To add something to a tally. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "up." Hank just scored a basket, so chalk one up for him. Chalk up a few more states for the incumbent.
4. To attribute something to something else (which is stated after "to"). A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "up." They're a very young team, so we'll chalk this loss up to inexperience and nerves.
5. To blame one for something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "up." I had nothing to do with the prank, but I'm sure they'll chalk it up against me anyway.
chalk something up
1. Lit. to write something on a chalkboard. Let me chalk this formula up so you all can see it. I'll chalk up the formula.
2. Fig. to add a mark or point to one's score. See also chalk something up (against someone).) Chalk another goal for Sarah. Chalk up another basket for the other side.
chalk something up
(against someone) Fig. to blame someone for something; to register something against someone. I will have to chalk another fault up against Fred. She chalked up a mark against Dave.
chalk something up (to something)
Fig. to recognize something as the cause of something else. We chalked her bad behavior up to her recent illness. I had to chalk up the loss to inexperience.
chalk up somethingalso chalk something up
to record something special Many banks chalked up large profits from their loans to internet companies.
Etymology: based on the idea of keeping a record on a chalk board
1. Score or earn, as in She chalked up enough points to be seeded first in the tournament. This term alludes to recording accounts (and later, scores) in chalk on a slate. [c. 1700]
2. Credit or ascribe, as They chalked their success up to experience. [First half of 1900s]
1. To earn or score something: The baseball team chalked up four runs in the last inning.
2. To credit or ascribe something: Let's just chalk the mistakes up to experience and try to do better on the next project.