champ at the bit

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From champ (verb) (to chew noisily) + bit (part of horse's harness held in its mouth); horses tend to chew on their bits when impatient at waiting.

Verb[edit]

champ at the bit

  1. (intransitive, horses) to bite the bit, especially when restless
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic) (of a person) to show impatience or frustration when delayed
    • 2001: Byron Spice, Science Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PG News read at [[1]] on 14 May 2006
      Pittsburgh supercomputer is complete, and scientists are champing at the bit to use it.
    • 2006: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, webpage for Ideas with wings, a radio series supporting innovation read at http://abc.net.au/science/wings/ on 14 May 2006
      Everyone is champing at the bit to be labelled innovative.
    • 2006: Al Rosenquist of Pastika’s Sport Shop, speaking to Terrell Boettcher of Sawyer County Record, Hayward, Wisconsin, Anglers champing at the bit read at [2] on 14 May 2006
      We had quite a few people in last weekend. They’re champing at the bit, ready to go.

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