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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /t͡ʃɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪt

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English chitte (a young animal, cub, whelp), from Old English *ċytten, *ċietten, *ċitten, from Proto-Germanic *kittīną (young animal, fawn, kid). Cognate with Scots chit (chit), Low German kitte (young animal), German Kitz (fawn, kid). See also kid.

NounEdit

chit (plural chits)

  1. A child or babe; a young, small, or insignificant person or animal.
    • 1859, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Virginians[1], Chapter VI:
      Madam was a little chit of a woman, not five feet in her highest headdress and shoes, and Mr. Washington a great tall man of six feet two.
    • 1922, Petronius Arbiter, W. C. Firebaugh, transl., Satyricon[2], Chapter 56:
      “These are returns,” I said, “quite fit
      To me, who nursed you when a chit.
      For shame, lay by this envious art;
      Is this to act a sister's part?”
    • 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, Bloomsbury, Chapter 4:
      [] he seemed to come forward from an era of sexual defiance and fighting alliances and to cast a dismissive eye over a little chit like Nick, who had never fought for anything.
  2. A pert or sassy young person, especially a young woman.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English *chit, *chitte, from Old English ċīþ (germ, seed, sprout, shoot), from Proto-Germanic *kīþą (sprout), from Proto-Indo-European *ĝī-, *ĝey- (to divide, part, split open, sprout). Cognate with Middle Dutch kiede (sprout), dialectal German Keid (sprout). Doublet of scion.

NounEdit

chit (plural chits)

  1. The embryonic growing bud of a plant
    Synonyms: shoot, sprout, seedling
    the chits of Indian corn or of potatoes
    • 1721, John Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry: Or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land, page 217:
      The Barley after it has been couched four or five days in cold Weather will sweat a little, and begin to show the Chit or Sprit at the Root-end of the Corn,
  2. (obsolete) An excrescence on the body, as a wart or a pimple.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

chit (third-person singular simple present chits, present participle chitting, simple past and past participle chitted)

  1. (intransitive, Britain, dialectal) To sprout; to shoot, as a seed or plant.
    • 1721, John Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry: Or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land, page 217:
      I have known it chit in seven hours after it had been thrown forth of the Cistern and within three days come enough; the Maltster being forced to stir it six, seven or eight times a day,
  2. (transitive, Britain, dialectal) To damage the outer layers of a seed such as Lupinus or Sophora to assist germination.
  3. (transitive, Britain, dialectal) To initiate sprouting of tubers, such as potatoes, by placing them in special environment, before planting into the soil.
    • 2010, Geoff Stebbings, Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg For Dummies, page 173:
      Gardeners argue among themselves about how necessary chitting is, but I stick with tradition and do chit my seed potatoes.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From chitty from Hindi चिट्ठी (ciṭṭhī, letter, note, written message).

NounEdit

chit (plural chits)

  1. (US and Britain dated) A small sheet or scrap of paper with a hand-written note as a reminder or personal message.
  2. A voucher or token coin used in payrolls under the truck system; scrip.
  3. (pharmacology) A small sheet of paper on which is written a prescription to be filled; a scrip.
  4. (gaming) A smaller cardboard counter generally used not to directly represent something but for another, more transient, purpose such as tracking or randomization.
    • 2005, The unofficial, updated Third Edition of the Magic Realm Rules, by Richard Hamblen, Teresa Michelsen and Stephen McKnight
      1.4.3 Also on the board, but turned face down at the beginning of the game, are chits representing treasure sites and sounds and warnings of monsters that may arrive on the map. When characters end a turn in the hex, these chits are revealed. As characters move around the board, more and more of these chits will be revealed, letting the players know where monsters and treasures are to be found.
  5. (India, China) A signed voucher or memorandum of a small debt, as for food and drinks at a club.
    • 1901, Falk, by Joseph Conrad
      He just longed to get away from here and try his luck somewhere else, but for the sake of his sister he hung on and on till he ran himself into debt over his ears—I can tell you. I, myself, could show a handful of his chits for meals and drinks in my drawer.
  6. (US, slang) A debt or favor owed in return for a prior loan or favor granted, especially a political favor.
    • 2007, New York Times, [3]
      And he is cashing in chits for her that Mr. Gore, post-impeachment, never asked him to do.
    • 2003, Linda Fairstein, The Bone Vault, Scribner, p98:
      Harry would call in a chit with some desk manager who owed him a favor.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

Perhaps from specialized technical use of Etymology 2, above, “a bud; an excressence” (Hunter 1882).

NounEdit

chit (plural chits)

  1. A small tool used in cleaving laths. Compare: froe.
    • 1734, The Builder’s Dictionary: Or, Architect’s Companion[4], volume II:
      Then lastly (with their Chit) they cleave their Laths into their thicknesses, by the Quarter Grain, which is that Grain which is seen to run in strait Lines towards the Pith.
    • 1905, William Millar, Plastering, Plain and Decorative, page 90:
      This should be specially selected, cut into lengths, and split by wedges into bolts, with a dowel axe into fittings, and with a chit split into laths.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 5Edit

Euphemistic variation of shit.

NounEdit

chit (uncountable)

  1. (US, slang, euphemistic) Shit.

InterjectionEdit

chit

  1. (US, slang, euphemistic) Shit.

ReferencesEdit

  • chit in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • chit” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.
  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967
  • Hunter, Robert (1882) The Encyclopædic Dictionary: A New, and Original Work of Reference to All the Words in the English Language with a Full Account of Their Origin, Meaning, Pronounciation, and Use[5], Cassell, Petter, Galpin and Company

AnagramsEdit


Min NanEdit

For pronunciation and definitions of chit – see (“this; these; like this; such; etc.”).
(This character, chit, is the Pe̍h-ōe-jī form of .)

RomanianEdit

Etymology 1Edit

Borrowed from Greek κήτος (kítos), partly through the intermediate of Slavic *kitъ (cf. Old Church Slavonic китъ (kitŭ)). Used around the 16th century.

NounEdit

chit m (plural chiți)

  1. (obsolete) whale, cetacean
SynonymsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from French quitte, itself from Latin quietus (and therefore a doublet of the inherited încet). The variant cfit is from German quitt.

Alternative formsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

chit

  1. (familiar, used in expressions) free; in peace; having paid ones debt; even
Usage notesEdit

Used as part of colloquial expressions like "a fi chit", meaning "to not owe anyone anything; not indebted to", or "chit că", meaning "even so, regardless".

Etymology 3Edit

Borrowed from German Kitt.

NounEdit

chit n (uncountable)

  1. putty
See alsoEdit