From chivy, chevy (“to chase; to race, scamper”), from chivy, chevy (“a chase, hunt, pursuit”), probably from the title of The Ballad of Chevy Chase, first published in The Complaynt of Scotland (1549); the ballad is about a hunt taking place on a chase (“large country estate where game may be hunted”) in the Cheviot Hills between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, and is thought to allude to the Battle of Otterburn in 1388.
- (transitive, Britain) To coerce or hurry along, as by persistent request. [from late 18th c.]
- 1889, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “Of the Swordsman with the Brown Jacket”, in Micah Clarke: […], London: Longmans, Green, and Co […], OCLC 729680187, page 316:
- Odd's wouns! it was a proper hunt. Away went my gentlemen, whooping like madmen, with their coat skirts flapping in the breeze, chivying on the dogs and having a rare morning's sport.
- 1973, B. W. E. Alford, “A New Generation and a New Firm”, in W. D. & H. O. Wills and the Development of the UK Tobacco Industry, 1786–1965, London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. […], →ISBN; reprinted as Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2006, →ISBN, page 55:
- Some customers could now be relied upon to send in their orders regularly and, apart from having to chivy those who had fallen behind with their payments, this allowed travellers to concentrate their energies on securing new customers and on recovering those who had been lost to competitors.
- 1981 November, Gardner Dozois; Jack C[arroll] Haldeman II, “Executive Clemency”, in Omni, New York, N.Y.: Omni Publications International; republished as Gardner Dozois, Geodesic Dreams: The Best Short Fiction of Gardner Dozois, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, October 1992, →ISBN, page 35:
- He headed for home, walking a little faster now, as if chivied along by some old cold wind that didn't quite reach the sunlit world.
- 2014 August, Holly McQueen, chapter 16, in Charlie Glass’s Slippers: A Very Modern Fairy Tale, 1st trade paperback edition, New York, N.Y.: Atria Paperback, →ISBN, page 267:
- She's helpful and rude in equal measure as she chivvies me into insisting that Heather include a particular pair of gold metallic wedges that I really think is representative of Dad's style […]
- (transitive, Britain) To subject to harassment or verbal abuse.
- 1883, “Nessmuk” [pseudonym; George Washington Sears]; Charles F. Orvis and A. Nelson Cheney, compilers, “Trout: Meeting Them on the ‘June Rise’”, in Fishing with the Fly: Sketches by Lovers of the Art, with Illustrations of Standard Flies, Manchester, Vt.: C. F. Orvis, OCLC 7391865638, page 167:
- So when I was done, and the fishing was as good as the start, I cut a long "staddle," with a bush at the top, and I just went for that school of trout. I chevied, harried and scattered them, up stream and down, until I could not see a fish.
- 1898, W[illiam] W[ymark] Jacobs, “Pickled Herring”, in Sea Urchins, London: Lawrence and Bullen, Ltd. […], OCLC 477208446, page 160:
- "They're chevying that poor animal [a dog] again," he said hotly. "It's scandalous." / "Rupert can take care of himself," said the mate calmly, continuing his meal. "I expect, if the truth's known, it's him 's been doin' the chevying."
- 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 5, in The Line of Beauty, London: Picador, published 2005, →ISBN, part 1 (The Love-chord (1983)), page 128:
- Toby played the lightly chivvied ‘husband’ very sweetly, and Sophie claimed him in the childish ways of someone experimenting with her power, with little exasperations and innuendos.
- (transitive, Britain) To sneak up on or rapidly approach.
- (transitive, Britain) To pursue as in a hunt. [from mid 19th c.]
- 1855, “Riots in Hyde Park”, in The Annual Register, or A View of the History and Politics of the Year 1855, volume XCVII, London: Printed for F[rancis] & J[ohn] Rivington; [et al.], published 1856, OCLC 1779623, page 107, column 2:
- The police were kept out of sight, and the amusements of the mob consisted chiefly in forming bodies which rushed from one end of the Park to the other, to the great injury of other rioters; or in hunting or "chivvying" any footman or remarkable person who should venture among them; some of these unfortunates were much injured.
- 1868 January, “Miss Sophy’s Crutch”, in London Society. An Illustrated Magazine of Light and Amusing Literature for the Hours of Relaxation, volume XIII, number LXXIII, London: Office, 217, Piccadilly, W. [printed by William Clowes and Sons, […]], OCLC 25269362, chapter I, page 76, column 1:
- […] John, before taking his departure, had left the stable door and the front gate open, and that Tartar [a horse], having no halter on, had quietly walked out into the high road, and had been chevied up and down by the boys for the last quarter of an hour.
- 1927 November 26, Cyril Connolly, “[Review of Ernest Hemingway’s Men without Women]”, in New Statesman, volume 30, London: New Statesman Ltd., ISSN 1364-7431, OCLC 185357433, page 208; republished in Jeffrey Meyers, editor, Ernest Hemingway: The Critical Heritage (Critical Heritage Series), London: Routledge, 1997 (2009 printing), →ISBN:
- With Mr. [Ernest] Hemingway, we at once enter the front line of modern literary warfare. We are face to face with the largest and wildest of the game that Mr. Wyndham Lewis chivvies through the warrens of the Rive Gauche and with the only one of its fauna on whose tail he has tried to place a pinch of commendatory salt, apparently in vain.
- 1934, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 18, in Burmese Days: A Novel (Project Gutenberg Australia; eBook no. 0200051h.html), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, published November 2015, OCLC 1810828, archived from the original on 13 April 2018:
- He rode slowly towards them with a sulky expression on his face, chivvying the polo-ball with small strokes.
chivvy (plural chivvies)
- (Britain) Something that encourages one to act; a goad, a spur.
- 2003 September 23, “Web Payback for Delayed Commuters”, in BBC News, archived from the original on 9 March 2016:
- Although Mr [Paul] Hatcher is not sure how popular the site will be he has designed it to handle up to 10,000 requests an hour. "It's just there to act as a chivvy to London Underground," he said.
- ^ “chivvy, v.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1972; “chevy, chivy, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1889.
- ^ “chevy, chivy, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1889; “chivvy”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.