Where Did the Term “Chow Time” Come From and How Did the Expression For Mealtime Originate?

Chow is a Mandarin Chinese word meaning to cook or fry, while in Cantonese, chow means food.

The chow chow is a breed of dog that was in fact originally bred by the Chinese to be eaten.

In the early days of North American settlement, Chinese immigrants were often put to work cooking for the labor gangs because of their culinary talents.

These gangs then picked up the phrase “chow time” as meaning it’s time to eat.

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2 thoughts on “Where Did the Term “Chow Time” Come From and How Did the Expression For Mealtime Originate?”

  1. Chow is both Mandarine and Cantonese. There is no one word for food like in English, one can say “Edible Things” or generically refer to “Fan” which is the word for rice, since it’s the staple food.

    Also Chow-Chows are royal dogs for fighting and display. Food dogs are short haired and larger without genetic issues.

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