Probably from the title of The Ballad of Chevy Chase, first published in The Complaynt of Scotland (1549); the ballad is about a hunt taking place on a chase (“large country estate where game may be hunted”) in the Cheviot Hills between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, and is thought to allude to the Battle of Otterburn in 1388.
- (transitive, Britain) To coerce or hurry along, as by persistent request. [from late 18th c.]
- (transitive, Britain) To subject to harassment or verbal abuse.
- 2004, Alan Hollinghurst, chapter 5, in The Line of Beauty, London: Picador, published 2005, →ISBN, part 1 (The Love-chord (1983)), page 128:
- Toby played the lightly chivvied ‘husband’ very sweetly, and Sophie claimed him in the childish ways of someone experimenting with her power, with little exasperations and innuendos.
- (transitive, Britain) To sneak up on or rapidly approach.
- (transitive, Britain) To pursue as in a hunt. [from mid 19th c.]
- to chivvy the fox
- 1934, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 18, in Burmese Days: A Novel (Project Gutenberg Australia; eBook no. 0200051h.html), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, published November 2015, OCLC 1810828, archived from the original on 13 April 2018:
- He rode slowly towards them with a sulky expression on his face, chivvying the polo-ball with small strokes.
chivvy (plural chivvies)
- (Britain) Something that encourages one to act; a goad, a spur.
- 2003 September 23, “Web Payback for Delayed Commuters”, in BBC News, archived from the original on 9 March 2016:
- Although Mr [Paul] Hatcher is not sure how popular the site will be he has designed it to handle up to 10,000 requests an hour. "It's just there to act as a chivvy to London Underground," he said.