Had Your Chips (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Had Your Chips"?

Meaning to run out of luck or failure is inevitable, the term had your chips has its roots in gambling in casinos. A desperate gambler would be told by the casino staff that he had had all his chips (i.e., his gambling for the night had come to an end).

A Competing Theory

The workers in a dockyard were sometimes able to take home spare pieces of timber, known as chips. Many workers would try to take too many and, as a consequence, would have this privilege revoked. They would be told they’d had all their chips.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs