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[chou-der] /ˈtʃaʊ dər/

a thick soup or stew made of clams, fish, or vegetables, with potatoes, onions, and other ingredients and seasonings.
a thick soup or stew containing clams or fish

1751, American English, apparently named for the pot it was cooked in: French chaudière “a pot” (12c.), from Late Latin caldaria (see caldron). The word and the practice introduced in Newfoundland by Breton fishermen, and spreading thence to New England.

CHOWDER. A favorite dish in New England, made of fish, pork, onions, and biscuit stewed together. Cider and champagne are sometimes added. Pic-nic parties to the sea-shore generally have a dish of chowder, prepared by themselves in some grove near the beach, from fish caught at the same time. [John Russell Bartlett, “Dictionary of Americanisms,” 1859]

The derogatory chowderhead (1819) is a corruption of cholter-head (16c.), from jolthead, of unknown origin.


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  • Chow hall

    noun phrase A room where meals are served, esp a military mess hall (1940s+ Army)

  • Chowhound

    [chou-hound] /ˈtʃaʊˌhaʊnd/ noun, Slang. 1. a person who eats food in large quantities or with great gusto; glutton.

  • Chowk

    /tʃaʊk/ noun (in the Indian subcontinent) 1. (often in place names) a marketplace or market area: Vijay Chowk 2. a courtyard 3. a road junction or roundabout

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