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 cohost the Podcast: Alabama Grist Mill and 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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