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.”
References in periodicals archive ?
SCOTLAND'S smallest airport is going to be chock-a-block after up to 20 aircraft land on its only runway - the beach.