chops


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to chops: Lamb chops
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

bust (one's) chops

1. (acting upon oneself) To exert a significant amount of energy or work very hard to do, accomplish, or complete something. I've been busting my chops all night long to get this presentation ready for tomorrow's meeting. She's going to have to bust her chops if she wants a place on the varsity team.
2. (acting upon someone else) To harass, nag, or upbraid someone to do, accomplish, or complete something. The boss is busting everyone's chops to get the project ready by next week. Quit busting my chops! I'll get it done eventually!
See also: bust, chops

chop and change

To continually change one's course of action, to the confusion or irritation of others. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. When we chop and change this much, it frustrates our customers. We need to set a schedule and stick to it.
See also: and, change, chop

chop back

To prune something, such as trees, bushes, or plants. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "back." I need to chop back this tree because it's so overgrown that I can barely open my car door anymore.
See also: back, chop

chop down

1. To fell; to cut down. Usually refers to cutting down a tree. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "down." We had to chop down that old tree to keep it from falling onto our house. It would be a shame to have to chop that old oak down just to make room for a parking lot.
2. To destroy or reject something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "down." Now that the CEO has chopped down our idea, we need to come up with something better.
See also: chop, down

chop logic

To argue in a tedious or pedantic way. I can't stand the way he chops logic! You can't have a conversation without him turning it into some tiresome fight!
See also: chop

chop off

1. To cut something off of something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "off." We had to chop off that branch because it was in danger of falling on our house. I decided to chop my hair off because I needed a change in my life.
2. To stop someone abruptly while they are talking. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "off." I had to chop him off because his boring story was putting me to sleep.
See also: chop, off

chop out

To remove something, as by slicing or cutting (literally or figuratively). A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "out." When you edit his piece, be sure not to chop all the personality out of it.
See also: chop, out

chop up

1. Literally, to cut or slice something into smaller pieces. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "up." Can you chop up the onions for the stew? Chop up the lumber so we can use it for firewood.
2. By extension, to split something into smaller sections. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chop" and "up." This paragraph was way too long, so I chopped it up.
See also: chop, up

flap (one's) chops

To chatter or blather. Quit flapping your chops—I need some quiet so I can think! Whenever Charlie starts to flap his chops, I can't get in a word!
See also: chops, flap

lick (one's) chops

1. To anticipate eating (something) with great eagerness or appetite. I was licking my chops when the waiter set the juicy steak down in front of me.
2. To show one's impatience or excitement to do something. You should have seen John at the car show. He was licking his chops looking at all those fancy sports cars. My detractors were practically licking their chops when they heard that my proposal had failed.
See also: chops, lick

pork chop

1. A thick cut of meat from a pig. Often used in the plural when it is prepared as a meal. Well, at least sit down and have a pork chop with us before you go out! Mom said that she's making pork chops for dinner tonight, so don't be late!
2. offensive slang A black person who acts submissively toward white people.
See also: chop, pork
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

chop someone off

Fig. to stop someone in the middle of a sentence or speech. (Abruptly, as if actually chopping or cutting.) I'm not finished. Don't chop me off! The moderator chopped off the speaker.
See also: chop, off

chop something back

to prune vegetation; to reduce the size of plants by cutting. Why don't you chop those bushes back while you have the shears out? Chop back the bushes, please.
See also: back, chop

chop something down

 
1. Lit. to cut down something, such as a tree, with an ax. Please don't chop my favorite tree down. Don't chop down this tree!
2. Fig. to destroy something, such as a plan or an idea. The committee chopped the idea down in its early stages. They chopped down a great idea!
See also: chop, down

chop something off (of) something

 and chop something off
to cut something off something, as with an axe or saw. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) We chopped the dead branches off the tree. You should chop off the other branch.
See also: chop, off

lick one's chops

Fig. to show one's eagerness to do something, especially to eat something. We could tell from the way the boys were licking their chops that they really wanted a turn at riding the motorcycle. Fred started licking his chops when he smelled the turkey roasting in the oven.
See also: chops, lick
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

break one's ass

Also, break or bust one's ass or balls or butt or chops .
1. Exert oneself to the utmost, try extremely hard, as in I've been breaking my ass to finish early. This expression is considered vulgar slang; both ass, for backside or buttocks, and balls, for male genitals, are rude; butt, for buttocks, and chops, for either the mouth or the legs, are informal and emphatic but not quite as offensive. For a more polite synonym, see break one's back. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. break someone's ass. Also, bust someone's chops. Thrash or harass someone, as in Jim threatened to break Tim's ass, or The boss broke his workers' chops to improve service. [ Vulgar slang; mid-1900s]
See also: ass, break

lick one's chops

Also, lick one's lips. Anticipate with great pleasure. For example, The kids were licking their chops as Mother described the family vacation plans, or I couldn't help but lick my lips when she talked about the menu. Both expressions allude to anticipating a tasty morsel of food. The second is the older, dating from about 1500 and used interchangeably with lick one's fingers, now seldom heard. The first also served as 1930s jazz slang for warming up, chops meaning "the jaw or mouth" (a usage dating from the 1300s).
See also: chops, lick
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.

chop and change

BRITISH
COMMON If someone chops and changes, they keep changing their plans, often when it is not necessary. After chopping and changing for the first year, they have settled down to a stable system of management. All this chopping and changing serves no useful purpose. Note: This expression was originally used to refer to people buying and selling goods. To `chop' meant to trade or barter, and `change' came from `exchange'.
See also: and, change, chop

bust someone's chops

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you bust someone's chops, you tease them or criticize them for something. His friends bust his chops about being voted the `best-dressed man'. This is not a good time to bust his chops about his poor communication skills.
See also: bust, chops
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

bust someone's chops

nag or criticize someone. North American informal
See also: bust, chops

bust your chops

exert yourself. North American informal
See also: bust, chops

chop and change

change your opinions or behaviour repeatedly and abruptly, often for no good reason. British informal
Both chop and change originally had the sense of ‘barter’, ‘exchange’, or ‘buy and sell’, but as this sense of chop became dated the meaning of the whole expression shifted to its present one.
See also: and, change, chop

chop logic

argue in a tiresomely pedantic way; quibble.
Chop is here used in the 16th-century sense meaning ‘bandy words’. This sense is now obsolete, and the sense of chop used in this phrase was later wrongly understood as ‘cut something into small pieces’.
See also: chop
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌchop and ˈchange

(British English, informal) change your plans, opinions or methods too often: I wish he’d make up his mind — I’m tired of all this chopping and changing.
See also: and, change, chop
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

chop off

v.
To cut something short by or as if by chopping; curtail something: The barber chopped my ponytail off. The butcher chopped off a hunk of meat for me.
See also: chop, off

chop out

v.
To remove something by chopping or cutting; excise something: I chopped out a big piece of wood from the log. The editor always chops all the jokes out of the manuscripts.
See also: chop, out

chop up

v.
1. To cut something into small pieces with a sharp tool: The cook chopped up the parsley. I chopped an onion up and added it to the soup.
2. To divide something into smaller segments: The editor chopped the manuscript up into distinct chapters. I chopped up the long drive by making frequent stops.
See also: chop, up
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.

bust (someone's) chops

1. To scold or insult someone.
2. To disappoint or defeat someone.
3. To hold a building contractor to the letter of an agreement.
See also: bust, chops

lick (one's) chops

To anticipate delightedly.
See also: chops, lick
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.

lick one's chops, to

To anticipate something with obvious pleasure. The word chops (or chaps) has meant the jaws or mouth since about 1350, usually referring to the lower jaw of animals. This meaning survives in the current cliché, as well as in musicians’ slang for the embouchure of wind instruments. In jazz slang of the 1930s and 1940s, licking one’s chops meant warming up before a performance. In jazz parlance chops also came to mean ability or skill, a usage from the 1960s.
See also: lick
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Dip each chop in the flour, shake off any excess then dip in to the egg to coat, again shaking off any excess and finally the crumb mix, making sure each chop is coated well.
Rinse pork chops. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium heat, stir beer, salt, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the peppercorns, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and garlic until salt and sugar are dissolved.
But USDA researchers are using hormones and artificial light to try to reset the mating clocks of these sheep so that supermarkets can be stocked evenly with lamb chops year-round.
Alternatively, cook the chops on a prepared barbecue.
The fiery Scot has been massively impressed by chef Jian Wang and her Chop Chop restaurant.
Arrange the chops on a kitchen foil-lined tray and grill on one side for 5-7 minutes.
LAMB is wonderful in summer, and there is nothing better than a good lamb chop grilled or pan fried until the fat is slightly crispy, if not charred.
Smear this paste, seasoned with salt and pepper, over the chops and let sit for half an hour.
Ingredients: 4 boneless lamb chops; 3 tbspn chopped fresh mint; 1 tbspn chopped fresh thyme leaves; 2 tspn chopped fresh rosemary; quarter tspn freshly ground black pepper; 1 tspn extra virgin olive oil; 4 shallots or 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped; 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed; 450g frozen peas; 2 tspn vegetable stockMethod: Place the chops on a board.
The trick is to substitute quick-cooking lamb chops for the more traditional braising cuts, and cook them on the stove.
100g open cap or field mushrooms, wiped; 1 large cooking apple, peeled and cored; 1 tbsp vegetable oil; 1 large onion, sliced; salt and pepper; 4 pork chops; 300ml dry cider; 40g breadcrumbs; 100g British mature cheddar cheese, grated; 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped; 1 tsp chilli powder.
Toby says his wire pre-processing and granulating equipment made by MTB produces clean, impressive copper and aluminum chops and has earned his loyalty.
"Here I have teamed up easy-to-eat boneless loin pork chops with a very simple sauce flavoured with tomato, mustard and sage - and a dash of cream to make it that extra bit special."
LAMB CHOPS WITH BUTTERY MASH AND APPLE AND MINT JELLY
The zigzag blade chops well but didn't get through all the onions I put in, leaving the outer layer.