CHOP-CHOP. Pigeon-English (or -Chinese) for ‘Make haste! look sharp!’ This is supposed to be from the Cantonese, pron. kap-kap, of what is in the Mandarin dialect kip-kip. In the Northern dialects kwai- kwai, ‘quick-quick’ is more usual (Bishop Moule). [Mr. Skeat compares the Malay chepat-chepat, ‘quick- quick.’]


a. H. chhappar, ‘a thatched roof.’

[1773.—“…from their not being provided with a sufficient number of boats, there was a necessity for crouding a large party of Sepoys into one, by which the chuppar, or upper slight deck broke down.”—Ives, 174.]

1780.—“About 20 Days ago a Villian was detected here setting fire to Houses by throwing the Tickeea1 of his Hooka on the Choppers, and was immediately committed to the Phouzdar’s Prison.…On his tryal…it appering that he had more than once before committed the same Nefarieus and abominable Crime, he was sentenced to have his left Hand, and right Foot cut off.…It is needless to expatiate on the Efficacy such exemplary Punishments would be of to the Publick in general, if adopted on all similar occasions.…”—Letter from Moorshedabad, in Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, May 6.

1782.—“With Mr. Francis came the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Laws of England, partial oppression, and licentious liberty. The common felons were cast loose,…the merchants of the place told that they need not pay duties…and the natives were made to know that they might erect their chappor huts in what part of the town they pleased.”—Price, Some Observations, 61.

1810.—“Chuppers, or grass thatches.”—Williamson, V. M. i. 510.

c. 1817.—“These cottages had neat choppers, and some of them wanted not small gardens, fitly fenced about.”—Mrs. Sherwood’s Stories, ed. 1873, 258.

[1832.—“The religious devotee sets up a chupha-hut without expence.”—Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, ii. 211.]
[b. In Persia, a corr. of P. char-pa, ‘on four feet, a quadruped’ and thence a mounted post and posting.

1812.—“Eight or the horses belong to the East India Company, and are principally employed in carrying choppers or couriers to Shiraz.”—Morier, Journey through Persia, &c., p. 64.

1883.—“By this time I had begun to pique myself on the rate I could get over the ground ‘en chuppar.’”—Wills, In the Land of the Lion and the Sun, ed. 1891, p. 259.]

CHOPPER-COT, a. Much as this looks like a European concoction, it is a genuine H. term, chhappar khat, ‘a bedstead with curtains.’

1778.—“Leito com armação. Châpâr cátt.”—Grammatica Indostana, 128.

c. 1809.—“Bedsteads are much more common than in Puraniya. The best are called Palang, or Chhapar Khat…they haye curtains, mattrasses, pillows, and a sheet.…”—Buchanan, Eastern India, ii. 92.

c. 1817.—“My husband chanced to light upon a very pretty chopper-cot, with curtains and everything complete.”—Mrs. Sherwood’s Stories, ed. 1873, 161. (See COT.)

CHOPSTICKS, s. The sticks used in pairs by the Chinese in feeding themselves. The Chinese name of the article is ‘kwai-tsz,’ ‘speedy-ones.’ “Possibly the inventor of the present word, hearing that the Chinese name had this meaning, and accustomed to the phrase chop-chop for ‘speedily,’ used chop as a translation” (Bishop Moule). [Prof. Giles writes: “The N.E.D. gives incorrectly kwai-tze, i.e. ‘nimble boys,’ ‘nimble ones.’ Even Sir H. Yule is not without blemish. He leaves the aspirate out of kwai, of which the official orthography is now k’uai-k’uai-tzu, ‘hasteners,’ the termination -ers bringing out the value of tzu, an enclitic particle, better than ‘ones.’ Bishop Moule’s suggestion is on the right track. I think, however, that chopstick came from a Chinaman, who of course knew the meaning of k’uai and applied it accordingly, using the ‘pidgin’ word chop as the, to him, natural equivalent.”]

c. 1540.—“…his young daughters, with their brother, did nothing but laugh to see us feed ourselves with our hands, for that is contrary to the custome which is observed throughout the whole empire of China, where the Inhabitants at their meat carry it to their mouthes with two little sticks made like a pair of Cizers” (this is the translator’s folly; it is really com duos paos feitos como fusos—“like spindles).”—Pinto, orig. cap. lxxxiii., in Cogan, p. 103.

[1598.—“Two little peeces of blacke woode made round…these they use instead of forkes.”—Linschoten, Hak. Soc. i. 144.]

c. 1610.—“…ont comme deux petites spatules de bois

  By PanEris using Melati.

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