Chop chop (phrase)

"Chop chop" is a phrase first noted in the interaction between Cantonese and English people in British-occupied south China.[1] It spread through Chinese workers at sea and was adopted by British seamen.[2] "Chop chop" means "hurry" and suggests that something should be done now and without delay. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "chopsticks" originates from this same root.[3]

The term may have its origins in the South China Sea, as a Pidgin English version of the Cantonese term chok chok (Cantonese: 速速; jyutping: cuk1 cuk1) which in turn is similar in usage to the Mandarin term k'wâi-k'wâi (Chinese: 快快; pinyin: kuài kuài)[2] or may have originated from Malay.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Chinese English". The Penny Magazine. London: Charles Knight & Co. 19 May 1838. p. 190.
  2. ^ a b "Chop-chop". Phrase Finder. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  3. ^ "chop-stick, n.2". Oxford English Dictionary. 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Quick! What Are The Origins Of 'Chop-Chop'?".

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of chop-chop at Wiktionary