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Victorian Slang of the Week

chip: money, often in the phrase “in the chips.” 1840, many references throughout the period. “After playing poker with Lee for an hour, he was left without a chip.”

A person could also “cash in” (or pass in or hand in)his chips, which meant to die. 1879. The first reference talks about how this was used in Southern Colorado, so I imagine it started as a Western term.

chip, as a verb, was usually a bet, in poker 1876. Additionally one could “chip in” as early as 1861, which was used as we do today–to give money to. contribute.

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