chew the fat

chew the fat


  • to have friendly banter for hours on end
  • a long and informal conversation with someone
  • to gossip with friends at leisure

Example Sentences

  1. I’ve been meaning to get a hold of my friends from US since quite a while, if I can manage to do that after the party then I’ll go and chew the fat with them at our regular hangout.
  2. How nice to see you here. Have a seat and let’s chew the fat for a while.
  3. The whole purpose for having this event is so that school friends can come together and chew the fat. That is why it is known as a reunion.
  4. I was able to convince grandma to go with us – after chewing the fat for about an hour with her.


Chewing the fat is speculated to be something that was done at leisure by the North American Indians. Farmers in Britain would chew on pork fat when sitting idle or chatting with other farmers. It is also speculated to be an activity that sailors would do. They would have hardened and salted animal fat which would provide nutrients when on a voyage but would be required to be chewed for a long time. This became a routine activity where friends would gossip and thus from the literal meaning it is now used metaphorically. There is no evidence to support this speculation though.

Another speculation is the fact that the phrase originates from the actual movement of the mouth when chewing fat which resembles when friends get together to gossip. Both activities require the mouth to move for a long time. In 1885, J Brunlees Patterson used it in his literary work called ‘Life in the Ranks of the British Army in India’.

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C 21 Thoughts

21 Thoughts

Chewing the fat came from when the rich had parties and invited the socialites to polish off all the meat they had stored up – always on the night before lent started! Going to go “chew the fat” referred to eating the meat and socializing. Coincidentally, this is why the Tuesday before Lent begins is called Fat Tuesday. No meat starting Wednesday, so everyone must get fat from eating all the meat they posses in their iceboxes!

- Lisa DStout July 28, 2020

After a big meal with family (usually Sunday dinner), we would chew on the fat left over on our plates while gossiping over the latest news about relatives or friends. Those pieces of fat (such as from pork chops) were always browned and juicy, with the best flavor.

- Old school March 30, 2020

There is NO CLEAR ORIGIN for this idiom. The information provided is just fun facts. Is it North America or Britan, WHERE DID IT COME FROM? That’s the origin, most of the other idioms have useful information, I think the editor should revisit this and make it a clear pinpoint location and time for when this idiom was made.

- Sarah May 10, 2019

This is the most helpful website

- Geometry Dash Boi March 25, 2019

Can you put this picture.

- DIerp March 20, 2019

I gona che da fat wif my dog over tea

- Anonymous December 3, 2018

This helped a lot a lot a lot omg thx this site is my bff forever

- Nobody December 3, 2018

I agree with Max the comments are real right now

- Adrian October 15, 2018

The weird comments is real right now.

- Max October 1, 2018

Thank you so much, it helped a lot

- Someone April 29, 2018

You are all just chewing the fat, stop it.

- Man March 21, 2018

I knew it.

- Karl Pilkington February 13, 2018

Thank you so much. This helped a lot with my class!

- Dude January 30, 2018

Let me chew you

- Guy November 6, 2017

I want to chew on some fat. Football 🏈 I have.

- Cameron October 23, 2017

Thank you! this was so helpful for my class!

- Lilly October 16, 2017

I want chew someone out

- Anonymous September 24, 2017

Playing chicken

- Trayson April 19, 2017

Thank you for posting this. While the grammar is mostly correct, in Example Sentences the last sentence has no period before another sentence.

- Ben January 28, 2017

Dear @Camron, thank you very much for letting us know the error in origin.
We’ve corrected it and users’ contribution is highly appreciated, always.

- Team October 8, 2016

Its chewing the fat not chewing of fat (origin).

- Camron October 8, 2016

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