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Alternative forms[edit]


From chip +‎ -y.


  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃɪpi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪpi


chippy (plural chippies)

  1. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, slang) A carpenter. [from 19th c.]
  2. (slang, Western US) A prostitute or promiscuous woman. [from 19th c.]
    • a. 1911, David Graham Phillips, Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise[1]:
      I manage to pick up a living in spite of the damn chippies. I don't see why the hell they don't go into the business regular and make something out of it, instead of loving free.
    • 1964, Hubert Selby Jr., Last Exit to Brooklyn, New York: Grove Press, page 52:
      Don't worry chippy, nobodys gonna hurtya. Maybe fuckya a little []
    • 1971, Robert Altman, Brian McKay, 00:17:46 from the start, in McCabe & Mrs. Miller:
      $80 for a chippy? I can get a goddamn horse for $50!
    • 2004, William Lashner, chapter I, in Fatal Flaw[2], →ISBN, page 280:
      I give the pictures of the wife and the lawn boy to the husband. I give the pictures of the husband and the chippy to the wife.
    • 2008, Nicholas L. Syrett, chapter C, in The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities, →ISBN, page 176:
      Canby hints that, even with chippies, sexual intercourse was rare; even putting aside his complete lack of regard for the chippy as an actual human being, however, this passage makes clear that whatever did occur with these chippies may not have been as consensual as he presumed.72
    • 2012 March 19, David Denby, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s: “Casablanca” on the Big Screen”, in The New Yorker[3]:
      When Victor Laszlo leads the demoralized French in the “Marseilles[sic – meaning Marseillaise],” and even Yvonne, the chippy who is sleeping with a Nazi officer, joins in, the stoniest intellectual collapses in tears.
  3. (Britain, Ireland, informal) A fish-and-chip shop. [from 20th c.]
    Synonym: chipper
    • 2008, Patrick Naughton, chapter I, in Whistle Wood, Land of the Fathers, →ISBN, page 33:
      Huge queues form outside the Chippy, often stretching back to the Coop and beyond.
    • 2009, John Wise, chapter 12, in Sweet Dreams, →ISBN, page 308:
      Albert was flabbergasted. Yer really buyin′ a chippy?” Tom smiled whilst nodding his head. “That′s me plan.”
  4. (Australia, slang) The youngest member of a team or group, normally someone whose voice has not yet deepened, talking like a chipmunk.
  5. (New Zealand) A potato chip.
  6. (demoscene, informal) A chiptune.
  7. (US) A chipping sparrow.
    • 1902, Henry Harrison Metcalf, John Norris McClintock, The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire magazine devoted to history, biography, literature, and state progress, volume 32, page 385:
      In due time a nest-full of little chippies appear to be nourished with insectiverous[sic] food from a parental beak until fledged and able to look after themselves.
    • 1908, Alice Lounsberry, chapter I, in The Garden Book for Young People[4], page 139:
      Surely no young chippy was ever so stout and so emphatic as this bird.
      The funny part of it all is that the starling appears to make the chippies do whatever it pleases.
    • 1911, Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study, 24th edition, published 1939, page 88:
      How early in the season does the chippy appear and where does it spend the winter?
  8. (slang) An occasional drug habit, less than addiction.

Derived terms[edit]


chippy (comparative chippier, superlative chippiest)

  1. (Canada, UK) Ill-tempered, disagreeable.
    • 1885, W. S. Gilbert, The Mikado[5], act I:
      To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, / In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock, / Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock, / From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 5, in The Line of Beauty [], 1st US edition, New York, N.Y.: Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN:
      There was something so irksome about Barry Groom that he had a fascination: you longed for him to annoy you again. He was incredibly chippy, was that the thing?—all his longings came out as a kind of disdain for what he longed for.
  2. (Canada, sports) Involving violence or unfair play.
    • 2007, Canadian Interuniversity Sport,,
      The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and University of Saskatchewan Huskies battled to a 1-1 draw in a chippy Canada West men’s soccer affair that saw the teams combine for 33 fouls and five yellow cards.
  3. (of wood) Tending to form chips when cut, rather than larger, more usable pieces of wood.
  4. (dated) As dry as a chip of wood.
  5. (archaic) Feeling sick from drinking alcohol; hung over.

Related terms[edit]


chippy (third-person singular simple present chippies, present participle chippying, simple past and past participle chippied)

  1. (slang) To take drugs (especially heroin) on an occasional basis, rather than as an addict. [from 20th c.]
    • 1952 March 5, William S. Burroughs, “To Allen Ginsberg”, in Oliver Harris, editor, The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945–1959, New York: Penguin, published 1993, →ISBN, page 104:
      I chippy around but haven't been hooked in a year now.
    • 1974, Eric Josephson, Eleanor Elizabeth Carroll, Columbia University. School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine, Drug use: epidemiological and sociological approaches (page 110)
      The heroin user in the United States typically "chippies" for some time before becoming a regular user.
    • 2009, Erich Goode, Marijuana, page 86:
      For the most part, the players who are "chippying" with heroin think that they have their heroin use under control []

Further reading[edit]