chock-a-block, to be

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chock-a-block, to be

Also, chock-full. To be very full, tightly jammed together. It was originally a nineteenth-century nautical term, describing the blocks of a tackle drawn so close that they touched. In time it was transferred to objects, people—just about anything very crowded. W. Somerset Maugham used it, “The city’s inns were chock-a-block and men were sleeping three, four and five to a bed” (Then and Now, 1946). The synonymous “chock-full” is much older, dating from the fifteenth century, and actually may be used more often, in such locutions as, “Her paper was chock-full of typos.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"You can't park by your own house because the road is absolutely chock-a-block with hospital people.
Our small island is being crammed with people, and roads are chock-a-block with cars and lorries.
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS WEE THINKER ACROSS: 7 Elastic 9 Avian 10 Anise 11 One-time 12 Goo 13 Takeaway 16 Adorable 17 Ire 19 Vertigo 21 On air 22 Tibia 23 Kittens DOWN: 1 Derange 2 Marigold 3 Stye 4 Lacerate 5 Kiwi 6 Index 8 Chock-a-block 13 Terminal 14 Agitates 15 Regress 18 Evita 20 Robe 21 Oath QUICKIE ACROSS: 1 Frighten off 8 See 9 Rap 11 Trainer 12 Drama 13 End 14 Yet 15 Whooped 17 Pip 19 Itch 21 Army 23 Gene 25 Bile 27 Err 29 Pet hate 31 Nun 34 Rum 36 Unite 37 Sincere 38 Sin 39 Ago 40 Temperature DOWN: 1 Fern 2 Read 3 Gingham 4 Terror 5 Nudge 6 Fray 7 Fame 8 Steep 10 Patch 16 Din 18 Pal 20 Tee 22 Rep 24 Extinct 25 Bonus 26 Chaser 28 Romeo 30 Eye up 32 Unit 33 Nine 34 Rear 35 Urge
Summary: FUJAIRAH - Beaches and parks in Fujairah were a chock-a-block with families from other emirates celebrating Eid Al Fitr.
It was a complete inferno and seemed to have gone completely out of control - even though Church Street was absolutely chock-a-block with fire engines, emergency services and even a crane.
He said: "It is always chock-a-block here at night and today, for example, I have done what I've had to do and have now parked my car where it will stay for the next two days, because if I move it I will lose the space.
"The newts come out of every crack in the path and the place is chock-a-block with them.
It is still filthy with lanes chock-a-block with rubbish, discarded mostly by unscrupulous landlords when their student lodgers move out.
Alfred must battle his way through 11 levels that are chock-a-block with hidden rooms and funky power-ups.
On April 10, the Waldorf-Astoria's grand ballroom was chock-a-block with legit luminaries, including all those terpsichorean property owners whose Broadway and Off Broadway theaters are occupied.
Gillian McKeith is back on the warpath, a bunch of celebrities have been banged up in the Fat Club and every newspaper and magazine is chock-a-block with miracle weight-loss stories.
The garage was in a bad state of repair and "chock-a-block" with items including parts of a bed and a children's snooker table, said Stockton station officer Bob Beech.
"Every route we run has been chock-a-block all weekend."