A chip on your shoulder
Jan 20, 2014 | 1057 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEING IN the objective case and the kickative mood is not just about grammar, but is also true of some people’s disposition. It is important and needful to stand up for your principles without carrying “a chip on your shoulder.” If I disagree with a position in which another contends I strive to avoid getting into an argument with that individual. Instead I might say, “Well this is the reason I see it different than you…” (Then explain why I uphold an oppositive or different outlook on the matter.). If they still hold a different view than I will probably drop the subject and not pursue our difference any further.

“A chip on your shoulder” is believed to have originated at least back to the early 19th century when a boy would put a chip on his shoulder and dare another to knock it off. If the other boy knocked it off then they would usually enter into a fist fight.

The “Long Island Telegraph” newspaper on May 20, 1830 explained the phrase as follows: “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.”

Now days the expression no longer means to actually have a literal chip on one’s shoulder, but to always go around in the objective case and kickative mood.

Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)

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January 20, 2014
Very interesting!!! I would love to read more about the old sayings and how they were started