Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to chalk: chalk out
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
(as) different as chalk and cheese
Very different from one another or in conflict. Primarily heard in UK. Good luck getting those two to talk to each other—they're as different as chalk and cheese. My daughters are different as chalk and cheese these days—one loves baseball and the other loves ballet.
at the chalkface
In the act of teaching. Because she's a new teacher, she still gets very nervous while at the chalkface. All of my students failed the test, despite the many hours I spent at the chalkface on that subject.
be chalk and cheese
To be very different from one another. Good luck getting those two to talk to each other—they're like chalk and cheese. My daughters are chalk and cheese these days—one loves baseball and the other loves ballet.
by a long chalk
By a wide margin, as of time, distance, ability, etc. Often used in the negative to indicate not at all or by no means. Primarily heard in UK. He won that match by a long chalk. I'm not done yet, not by a long chalk!
chalk (something or someone) off
To presume, dismiss, or disregard someone or something as being a certain way. I really liked his earlier music, but I've chalked him off as a total sellout in recent years. Most people chalked the film off as yet another brainless horror movie.
chalk (something) up to (something)
1. To attribute some outcome or result to some specific cause, especially one that mitigates one's own responsibility or culpability. They're a very young team, so we'll chalk this loss up to inexperience and nerves. The poor financial performance of the event is disappointing, but we're chalking it up to bad luck for now.
2. To regard some negative outcome or disappointing result as serving some ultimately useful or beneficial purpose. Used especially in the phrase "chalk something up to experience." I know you're upset about failing your exam, but just chalk it up to experience and try harder next time!
chalk (something) up to experience
To regard a bad situation, action, or outcome as a learning experience rather than dwelling on its negative impact. I know you're upset about failing your exam, but just chalk it up to experience and try harder next time!
chalk and cheese
A phrase used to emphasize that two people or things are very different from one another. Good luck getting those two to talk to each other—they're like chalk and cheese. My daughters are chalk and cheese these days—one loves baseball and the other loves ballet.
chalk and talk
A style of teaching in which the teacher writes on a blackboard (with chalk) and lectures the class. This phrase is often used to criticize such traditional teaching methods. Primarily heard in UK. You shouldn't just rely on chalk and talk—you need to interact with your students so that they connect with the material.
chalk it up
To link something that has happened to a particular reason or circumstance. Don't get too down on yourselves after this loss, boys. Let's just chalk it up to inexperience and move on. Sure, getting a B in Algebra is disappointing, but I'm just going to chalk it up to the fact that I'm usually terrible at math!
1. In sports, to disallow a goal due to a technical rule of the game. Primarily heard in UK. Their last-minute goal would have won the match, but it was chalked off due to an offsides ruling by the referee.
2. To record, mark, or make note of something, especially as having been completed. I always find it bittersweet to chalk off another birthday each year.
3. To delineate the border of something with chalk. You always see the police chalk off bodies of murder victims in movies. I wonder if they do that in real life.
chalk one up for (someone)
To add something to a tally related to something that someone else is doing. Hank just scored a basket, so chalk one up for him.
1. To illustrate something, often a plan or concept, by literally drawing it in chalk. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "out." The architect quickly chalked out her vision for the addition to our house, to gauge our initial reactions to it.
2. To explain something to someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chalk" and "out." I still don't understand your idea. Can you start over and chalk it all out for me?
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.
know chalk from cheese
To be able to tell two things apart (especially by recognizing their differences). Of course I know which twin is which, I know chalk from cheese, after all! Leah has a beauty mark under her left eye, and Deena doesn't.
like chalk and cheese
Very different from one another; totally or nearly opposite in nature. Good luck getting those two to talk to each other—they're like chalk and cheese. My daughters are like chalk and cheese these days—one loves baseball and the other loves ballet.
make chalk of one and cheese of the other
To favor one person or thing over another. In this phrase, "chalk" is something worthless, while "cheese" is something valuable. I can't stand how unfairly you treat your sons—stop making chalk of one and cheese of the other!
not by a long chalk
Not at all; not by great or any means. Primarily heard in UK. I'm not beaten yet, not by a long chalk!
walk the chalk
To show one's competence in a particular area. This outdated phrase refers to a sobriety test in which one had to walk between chalk lines. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to walk the chalk, but I got a perfect score on my exam!
The act or practice of using chalk symbols on or outside of places or establishments in which one is able to access wireless Internet for free and without a password. (Modeled on the similar term "wardriving," which refers to the act of driving around some area in search of free, open wireless internet networks.) A bunch of students began this warchalking movement in and around the city to help alleviate their cost of people's phone bills.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
chalk something out
1. Lit. to draw a picture of something in chalk, especially to illustrate a plan of some type. The coach chalked the play out so the players could understand what they were to do. Our team captain chalked out the play.
2. Fig. to explain something carefully to someone, as if one were talking about a chalk drawing. She chalked out the details of the plan over the phone.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
by a long chalkBRITISH
You can use by a long chalk to make a statement stronger, especially a negative statement or one that contains a superlative. Not all of them are Republicans, not by a long chalk. Where do you think you're going, Kershaw? You haven't finished by a long chalk. In fact this book is by a long chalk the best biography of Sayers so far published. Note: This expression may refer to the practice of making chalk marks on the floor to show the score of a player or team. `A long chalk' would mean `a lot of points' or `a great deal'.
like chalk and cheeseor
chalk and cheeseBRITISH
If two people or things are like chalk and cheese or are chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other. Marianne and Ellis are like chalk and cheese. She's very serious and studious while he's sporty and sociable. Our relationship works because we are very aware of our differences, we accept that we are chalk and cheese.
put something down to experienceor
chalk something up to experience
COMMON If you chalk a failure or bad experience up to experience or put it down to experience, you do not get very upset about it because you will learn from it in the future. I was disappointed not to win, but I've just got to chalk it up to experience and go on. They could have parted friends and put the whole incident down to experience.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
as different as chalk and cheese (or like chalk and cheese)fundamentally different or incompatible. British
The opposition of chalk and cheese hinges on their being totally different in all qualities other than their rather similar appearance.
by a long chalkby far. British
This expression is based on the old custom of marking up points scored in a game with chalk on a blackboard, as is its opposite not by a long chalk meaning ‘by no means; not at all’.
chalk and talkteaching by traditional methods focusing on the blackboard and presentation by the teacher as opposed to more informal or interactive methods. British
walk the chalkhave your sobriety tested.
A traditional method of ascertaining whether someone is sober or not is to see whether they can walk along a line chalked on the ground without wobbling.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
(like) ˌchalk and ˈcheese(also as different as ˌchalk and ˈcheese) (British English, informal) very different: It’s hard to imagine that Mark and John are brothers — they’re like chalk and cheese.
put something down to exˈperience(also chalk it up to exˈperience especially American English ) accept a failure, loss, etc. as being something that you can learn from: When her second novel was rejected by the publisher, she put it down to experience and began another one.
not by a ˈlong chalk(British English) (also not by a ˈlong shot American English, British English ) (informal) not nearly; not at all: ‘Do you think she’s ready to take this exam?’ ‘No, not by a long chalk.’ ♢ This election isn’t over yet, not by a long shot.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. making a mark in a location where a wireless interconnection is available. Since more and more Wi-Fi hot spots are available, warchaulking has become rare.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
apples and oranges, like comparing
Comparing two unlike objects or issues. This term, dating from the second half of the 1900s, has largely replaced the difference between chalk and cheese, at least in America. The latter expression of disparateness is much older, dating from the 1500s. Why apples and oranges, since they’re both fruits, and not some other object is unclear. Nevertheless, it has caught on and is on the way to being a cliché.
chalk it up to, to
To credit or ascribe something. The term comes from the practice of keeping accounts by writing them down with chalk on a slate. It was long used in shops, restaurants, and bars, and later also to keep score in games and sports. The figurative use, as in “chalk it up to experience,” dates from the nineteenth century.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
chalk and cheese
Two objects that although appearing to be similar are in fact different. Just as certain varieties of crumbly white cheese might at first glance resemble chalk, so for example, siblings who resemble each other might have completely different personalities. They would be said to be as different as chalk and cheese.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price