chalk (something) up to (something)(redirected from chalks up to)
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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