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Related to chops: Lamb chops
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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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
lick (one's) chops
To show one's impatience or excitement to do something. That roast smells so good—I'm just about licking my chops in here! My detractors were practically licking their chops when they heard that my proposal had failed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
chop something off (of) somethingand 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.
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.
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]
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).
chop and changeBRITISH
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'.
bust someone's chopsAMERICAN, 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.
bust someone's chopsnag or criticize someone. North American informal
bust your chopsexert yourself. North American informal
chop and changechange 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.
chop logicargue 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
lick (one's) chops
To anticipate delightedly.
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