chip on shoulder

chip on shoulder

Meaning:

  • holding a grudge or grievance
  • a perceived sense of inferiority
  • being angry because of something that happened in the past
  • habitually combative attitude
  • take offence easily

Example:

  1. He's always picking up fights with everyone. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder.
  2. He has a chip on his shoulder for not being born into a rich family.
  3. She still seems to have a chip on her shoulder about the argument she had with her friend last week.
  4. He has a chip on his shoulder for not being invited to the party.
  5. Why do you get so aggressive at the slightest hint of criticism? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.
  6. He was not very cared for as a child, and he has a chip on his shoulder about his upbringing.
  7. She has a chip on her shoulder about not getting admission into that university.
  8. One of my colleagues is always arguing with everyone. I think he has a chip on his shoulder.

Origin:
This phrase originated in the USA in the 1800s. It refers to a practice where people who were looking for a physical fight would place a chip of wood on their shoulders, challenging others to knock it off.

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