Chaw



[chaw] /tʃɔ/

verb (used with or without object), noun, Dialect.
1.
.
/tʃɔː/
verb
1.
to chew (tobacco), esp without swallowing it
noun
2.
something chewed, esp a plug of tobacco
v.

1520s, unexplained phonetic variant of chew (v.). OED points out the variant form chow was “very common in 16-17th c.” Bartlett’s “Dictionary of Americanisms” [1859] says chaw, “Although found in good authors, … is retained, in this country as in England, only by the illiterate.” Related: Chawed; chawing. The noun meaning “that which is chewed” (especially a quid of tobacco) first recorded 1709.

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