DYK: Chew the fat – where did this idiom come from?

DYK: Did you know?

Chew the Fat -Today this means to have a long friendly conversation with someone.

This idiom has several possible sources as listed below. It is not clear which one is accurate.

  • Sailors, while of resting and conversing would chew on salt-hardened fat.
  • It has been speculated that the phrase may come from women chatting while sewing.
  • It has even been suggested that the phrase is derived from a practice by North American Indians of chewing animal hides during their spare time.women sewing

One source that recently circulated on the web was:

When company came over, in the 1500’s they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man “could really bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.

This source has largely been considered false.

 

 

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past

See historical books by Donna R. Causey

 

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me

All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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