English Idiom – Chop chop.

Meaning – Hurry up! This expression is used to tell someone to hurry, or to do something faster. Do something without delay.

This is a British English idiom which is also common in Australia.

This expression originates from the Chinese language. It is believed to have come from the Cantonese term “kap kap” (急急), which means “quickly” or “hurry up.” This phrase was likely distorted by English speakers who worked alongside the Chinese to become chop chop. As a result of seeing Chinese people using a pair of sticks to skillfully and quickly eat, these sticks also became known as chopsticks.

chop usage
Usage of the word ‘chop


When could you use this idiom?

  • Somebody is taking too long to get ready to go out.
  • You are in danger of missing a bus or plane because someone is too slow.
  • If you are in a rush.
  • You are getting impatient waiting for someone to finish something!


  • “Our plane leaves in 20 minutes, chop chop or we’ll miss it!”

In The News:

Chop chop! World Cup barber cut the hair of 23 Wales players in one day


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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