charm » champ

Chiefly in:   works like a champ

Classification: English – questionable

Spotted in the wild:

  • We just installed the new version of Exchange in the test lab, and it is working like a champ. (Heard in the wild, at my job, and it is spreading like wildfire.)
  • But if you use the program to recover deleted or corrupted images, it works like a champ. (PC World)
  • Lots of work still needed to be done to get the waterguns up to snuff; Byron modified one by finding a way to insert a long hose into the water intake and take the Chinese spring out and modify it with parts from our dead Italian watergun and voila it worked like a champ. (link)

I am fairly certain that “Works like a charm” is the original, but interestingly enough, a Google search of both phrases occurring in the same resource returns a shocking number of results:

Google:”works like a champ” “works like a charm”

Over 1,780 results!

[Entered by Neil and edited by Ben Zimmer. Marked “questionable” because it should probably be classified as an idiom blend, combining _works like a charm_ with _(do something) like a champ_.]

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/24 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Melissa , 2005/02/24 at 10:49 pm

    It’s arguably not an eggcorn, since working like a champ[ion] is a fair description.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Neil , 2005/02/26 at 7:59 am

    The two phrases can have the same meanings but with a subtly different flavor. “Works like a charm” is usually meant to describe success in a smooth, unobtrusive, non-confrontational manner, whereas “works like a champ” is aggressive success, victory, conspicuous dominance.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Marnen Laibow-Koser , 2006/12/21 at 7:01 pm

    Is this an eggcorn or simply a new idiom?

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