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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

Shortened from chow-chow, Chinese Pidgin English of unclear origin.

NounEdit

chow (usually uncountable, plural chows)

  1. (slang, uncountable) Food, especially snacks.
    I'm going to pick up some chow for dinner.
  2. a Chow Chow
    • 1914, Saki, ‘The Lull’, Beasts and Superbeasts:
      ‘I'd try and grapple with him myself, only I've got my chow in my room, you know, and he goes for pigs wherever he finds them.’
    • 1988 March 4, Jane Weinberg, “First Person: Me and Georgia O'Keeffe”, in Chicago Reader[1]:
      While we were talking, one of the chows, the rusty one, had come over to me and I was absently petting him.
  3. (chiefly Australia, slang, now rare) A Chinese person.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter V, p. 74, [2]
      These were the creatures Nawnim had been amazed to see about him on the day of his arrival. When he inquired about them, Anna told him they were Japs an' Chows.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 11:
      ‘Now look here old man if you should ever bump into an interesting Chow from over the river – one with access, follow me? – just you remember High Haven!’
  4. (mahjong) A run of three consecutive tiles of the same suit.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

chow (third-person singular simple present chows, present participle chowing, simple past and past participle chowed)

  1. (slang, South Africa) To eat.

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from Chinese .

NounEdit

chow (plural chows)

  1. A prefecture or district of the second rank in China, or the chief city of such a district.

Etymology 3Edit

Borrowed from Chinese .

VerbEdit

chow (third-person singular simple present chows, present participle chowing, simple past and past participle chowed)

  1. (mahjong) To (use a tile or tiles to) piece together a winning combination of tiles.
    • 2007, Eleanor Noss Whitney, A Mah Jong Handbook: How to Play, Score, and Win, page 154:
      [] while the adversary on his right will repeatedly bury in the discard the very tiles he wishes to chow but can't.
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