Make Your Editor Cry: Chalk Full vs. Chock-Full
People of a certain age remember chalkboards. Today, you may have a passing familiarity with sidewalk chalk. Regardless, chalk full (or chalk-full) is not a thing.
Here is the actual etymology of this idiom. In modern day Britain, “cheek” describes behavior or talk that is disrespectful or rude.
My shift lead told me off for being two minutes late when he arrived half an hour after me. What a cheek!
The word “chock” is an Old English word that means “cheek” as well as “full to the brim.” In other words, “chock-full” means a “mouthful.”
The correct phrase is “chock-full.”
The classroom was chalk-full of students.
We stayed with friends because the hotels were chock-full of tourists that weekend.
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.