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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does have a chip on your shoulder mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

have a chip on your shoulder


The phrase to have a chip on one's shoulder means to be be angry about something that happened sometimes in the past or to hold a grudge.

The origin of the phrase comes from a north American custom. It became a convention during 1800s to place a chip on one's shoulder to show that they are ready for a fight if anyone dares to take the risk.

The New York newspaper Long Island Telegraph reported on 20 May 1830:

"when two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip would be placed on the shoulder of one, and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril".


Although he has become a millionaire, he still has a chip on his shoulder about not going to university.

This idiom is in the parts of the body category

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