Chalk-full? Or Chock-full?

Inspiration for this week’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson comes from none other than…ME!

I made this mistake on my blog a couple of weeks ago and a friend was kind enough to point it out. Thanks, Chantal!

In a post I wrote about what to eat when the pantry is empty, I made a remark about something being CHALK-FULL. Turns out, chalk has nothing to do with it (whatever IT is). The expression is CHOCK-FULL. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it, right? :-)

I did a little googling and can’t find the origin of the expression CHOCK-FULL, but it’s clear that chalk-full is just wrong.

And there you have it. Even know-it-all, self-proclaimed Grammar Queens make mistakes! 😉

For more 5 Minute Grammar Lessons, read here.


  1. says

    I found this…seems the likely definition and reason…”the first element represents Middle English chokken ‘to cram’, from an Old French word for ‘to thrust’, with the compound thus meaning ‘crammed full’;” from The Maven’s Word of the Day ( I understand if you don’t want to post the link. Just thought it might help! It’s not my link anyway!

  2. says

    I am in the middle of writing a blog post and wanting to use the expression. I originally wrote “chalk full”. As I was proof reading it I wondered if that was correct. So I googled “chalk full” and guess where I landed…HERE! So thank you so entirely much for this post! I am sure you have saved many others the embarrassment. :) Obviously, it could happen to anyone.

  3. wally says

    It originated as a description for someone being full to the point of choking (choke-full). Then it mutated to chock-full and sometimes even chock-full.

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