DYK: Chip on your shoulder originates in 19th century

The idiom: Chip on your shoulder means being angry about something that happened in the past.

A ‘chip’ can be defined as a piece of timber, or wood. Depending on the amount and size, timber can be quite heavy, and oftentimes people carry heavy things on their shoulders.download

The phrase appears to have originated with a 19th  U.S. practice of spoiling for a fight by carrying a chip of wood on one’s shoulder, daring others to knock it off. A ‘chip’ can be defined as a piece of timber, or wood. Depending on the amount and size, timber can be quite heavy, and oftentimes people carry heavy things on their shoulders

 

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