champ at the bit » chomp at the bit
Spotted in the wild:
- Electronics makers chomping at the bit. (Taipei Times, Mar 16, 2004)
- Well, regarding one congregation in the previously referenced sextet, the previously referenced Grace Church in Orange Park, a casual visitor sitting in on a parish meeting would get the impression they are chomping at the bit to leave the Episcopal Church USA. (soc.motss, Aug 20, 2005)
- “But I wouldn’t say [they’re frustrated], I think our players are just chomping at the bit to go.” (ABC.au Sport, August 19, 2005)
- “I personally have never had the chance to see Fallen Angels on anything larger than a 27-inch television,” Marchetti told The Reeler. “So I’m kind of chomping at the bit for that one.” (The Reeler, NYC, Aug 19, 2005)
- The Urbana City Council apparently isn’t chomping at the bit to consider a resolution advising the University of Illinois to retire Chief Illiniwek. (The News-Gazette, August 18, 2005)
Treated at some length in my Language Log piece of 28 March 2005, “Chomping at the Font”. The verb “champ” was specialized in the idiom “champ at the bit” ‘be restive’, while “chomp” continued to be used in its munching sense. Then the much more frequent and less specialized “chomp”, which still makes sense in the context, replaced “champ” more and more.