Chew the fat


      • engage in friendly conversation
        To have a casual and lighthearted conversation with someone, often while sharing food or drinks.

      • waste time
        To spend time chatting or talking without accomplishing anything productive or meaningful.

      • nag or complain
        To continuously express dissatisfaction or grievances about something or someone, often in a tiresome or annoying manner.

    Examples of Chew the fat

    • After the game, the coach and I chewed the fat for hours, discussing strategies and players.

      To "chew the fat" is to engage in a leisurely, lengthy conversation about non-essential or trivial matters. In this example, the coach and the speaker had a relaxed, extended discussion about various aspects of the game and its players.

    • The salespeople in the store were chewing the fat with each other during their lunch break, swapping stories and jokes.

      Here, "chewing the fat" is used to describe a casual, social conversation between coworkers during a break or free time.

    • The two friends chewed the fat over coffee, catching up on each other's lives and reminiscing about old times.

      In this example, "chewing the fat" refers to a relaxed, informal chat between friends, often over drinks or food.

    • The two politicians chewed the fat during a debate, getting sidetracked into irrelevant details and personal anecdotes.

      Here, "chewing the fat" is used to describe a digression from the main topic of a conversation or discussion, often resulting in a loss of focus or productivity.

    • The two colleagues chewed the fat about their weekend plans, discussing what they had done and where they were going.

      This example illustrates how "chewing the fat" can refer to a friendly, informal conversation about personal matters, rather than work-related topics.


    The idiom "chew the fat" can be used in various contexts to refer to different types of conversations or activities. It can mean having a relaxing and enjoyable chat with someone, passing time in a casual manner, or complaining excessively. In all cases, the phrase implies a sense of leisure and indulgence, as if one is savoring the experience rather than accomplishing a specific goal.

    Origin of "Chew the fat"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but there are a few possible explanations. One theory suggests that it comes from the tradition of sailors chewing on fat or salted meat while on long voyages, as a way to pass time and stave off hunger. Another theory points to the practice of cowboys chewing on dried beef or jerky while sitting around a fire and chatting after a long day of work.

    Another possible origin is from the Native American tradition of sharing a peace pipe and chewing on tobacco, while discussing important matters with each other. This could have been adopted by settlers in America and eventually evolved into the phrase "chew the fat." Regardless of its specific origin, the idiom has been in use since the early 19th century and has since become a common part of the English language.