October 12, 2011
chockablock (adjective)
\CHAH-kuh-blahk\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: very full : crowded, crammed
How do you use it?
Alissa's bedroom is chockablock with stuffed animals, toys, books, and her collection of colorful rocks.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "chockablock" originated in a particular field of activity. In what field of activity do you think "chockablock" was first used?

"Chockablock" started out as term used in navigation. A block is a metal or wooden case with one or more pulleys inside. Sometimes two or more blocks are used as part of a rope and pulley system called a "block and tackle." This system makes it easier to do something, such as hoist a sail on a traditional sailing ship. When the rope is pulled as far as it will go, the blocks are tight together and are said to be "chockablock." People began to associate the "chock" in "chockablock" with "chock-full," which goes back to Middle English "chokkefull," meaning "full to the limit." Eventually "chockablock" developed the additional meaning "filled up."
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