Chewing the fat

probus

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In Canada, when people are relaxing and chatting amiably, we say they are chewing the fat. I believe this comes from the culture of our northern native people (formerly called Eskimos, but now known as Inuit), and therefore would not be recognized by speakers of other varieties. Am I right?
 

emsr2d2

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It's used in BrE, although I can't say I've heard it much in the last 30 years. It would certainly have been used and understood by my parents' and grandparents' generations.

This site has no mention of your etymological suggestion.
 

Tarheel

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I'm familiar with that expression. (I haven't heard it recently.) I have also heard that explanation for its origin.
 

Tdol

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I've heard it all my life.
 

Mnemon

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In Canada, when people are relexing and chatting amiably, we say they are chewing the fat. I believe this comes from the culture of our northern native people (formerly called Eskimos, but now known as Inuit), and therefore would not be recognized by speakers of other varieties. Am I right?
Upon reading your post, the idiom shoot the breeze came to my mind which I think is not very well-known in BE.
 

emsr2d2

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It's known in the UK because we watch a lot of American TV and films. We don't actually use it much, though.
 

Tdol

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I have heard it many times in films and songs, but I don't think I have ever used it.
 
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