a chip on (one's) shoulder(redirected from a chip on shoulder)
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a chip on (one's) shoulder
An attitude that leads one to become combative or easily angered. Fred has such a chip on his shoulder—you never know what's going to set him off next. She won't admit it, but Kate has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to discussing her career.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*chip on one's shoulder
Fig. a bad attitude that tends to get someone easily upset. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) Why did you get so angry at the slightest criticism? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
chip on one's shoulder
A belligerent attitude or grievance, as in Mary is easily offended; she always has a chip on her shoulder. This term actually was defined in a newspaper article ( Long Island Telegraph, May 20, 1830): "When two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip would be placed on the shoulder of one and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril." [Early 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a chip on your shouldera strong and usually long-standing inclination to feel resentful or aggrieved, often about a particular thing; a sense of inferiority characterized by a quickness to take offence. informal
In 1830 the Long Island Telegraph described the practice which gave rise to this expression: ‘When two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip would be placed on the shoulder of one, and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
chip on (one's) shoulder
A habitually hostile or combative attitude.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.