Talk:chip on one's shoulder

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The phrase originates in the Royal Naval Dockyards at Chatham, Woolwich and Deptford in the UK during the 18th C. Workers were allowed to take a 'chip' home. This was a plank of waste wood, which they had to be able to carry on their shoulders. The authorities wanted to restrict what the workers took home, so from 1753 (Admralty Order issued 4 May 1753) workers were only allowed to take a chip they could carry under their arm. This restriction caused resentment and the workers insisted on their right to have a chip on their shoulder, hence the transferred meaning of the phrase. The dispute caused a 1756 strike at Chatham dockyards. For reference see: History of Work and Labour Relations in the Royal Dockyards by Kenneth Lunn and Ann Day. PoochieR 08:20, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Not a verb[edit]

The idiom "chip on one's shoulder" is not a verb. It is most often used with the verb have, as in "He has a chip on his shoulder," but it may also be used in other grammatical frames, as in "She came in here with a chip on her shoulder." In either case, the idiom itself is not a verb. I have altered the entry using 'infl|phrase'. (Oh, and I see I was not logged in. Sorry about that; edit 8357104 was mine.) Cnilep 16:21, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for catching it. I forgot to make the appropriate changes when it was moved. FYI, we are trying to avoid the Idiom header and minimize the use of Phrase (and Interjection). If a phrase resembles a conventional part of speech, we assign to that header and category. Category:English phrases is reserved mostly for clauses, sentences, and multi-word entries that span grammatical units (See Category:English non-constituents). The reassignment work is not yet complete, however. DCDuring TALK 17:02, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


Are definitions are quite weak. I've never heard of 1, and 2 & 3 I think are the same sense, just not worded very well. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:36, 29 July 2010 (UTC)