Chomp is Champ

In my entry on “chomp at the bit” (p. 57) I refer to this as a mistake for “champ at the bit.”

It may be time to give up on this one.

Clearly “chomp” has prevailed over the otherwise obsolete verb “champ.” It means the same thing, makes sense, and is more easily understood.

A sensible comment on this change is on the Grammarist Web site.

So common has “chomping” become that some people doubtless think “champing” is a mistake.

In published English “champing” is still common, and that’s good to know.

I’m not impatiently awaiting an opportunity to use this expression, but if I do happen to need it I’ll stick with “champing.”

1 comment:

carol fox said...

"champing at the bit" remains my choice, too. I think you should continue to insist it is the correct usage. You are often forgiving about changes in English, but this is not a change;it remains an error.

Carol Fox