lick one's chops

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

lick one's chops

  1. To use one's tongue to remove moistness from the sides of one's mouth, as when salivating or at the conclusion of a meal.
    • 1911, Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl, ch,. 20:
      Pat presently came galloping up the orchard, carrying in his mouth a big field mouse, which, sitting down before us, he proceeded to devour, body and bones, afterwards licking his chops with great satisfaction.
  2. (idiomatic) To look forward avidly to eating something.
    • 1822, Sir Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak, ch. 21:
      The stranger . . . handed his platter to the large mastiff dog, who, attracted by the smell of the dinner, had sat down before him for some time, licking his chops.
  3. (idiomatic, by extension) To anticipate something eagerly.
    • 2002, Daniel Eisenberg et al., "Air Travel Gets A New Model," Time, 26 Aug:
      When the Federal Government set up the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) last fall to help prop up the ailing airlines with $10 billion in loan guarantees, many credit-strapped CEOs licked their chops in anticipation of yet another big, fat government handout.