beat one’s gums v.
1. to chatter, to talk, esp. in an irritating manner.
|Charleston (WV) Daily Mail 21 July 6/8: If you heard a Negro saying that his gal is ‘always beatin’ her chops in off time’ you might not know that he was complaining of her penchant for gossip.|
|[||New Yorker 15 46/2: Quit beating your gums together, Papa Houdini, and help me out with a drink].|
|Leatherneck 27:11 30/2: He kept beating his gums about her all day.|
|New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 253: beat up the chops (or the gums) (v.): to talk, converse, be loquacious.|
|Really the Blues 48: I stood around outside the Pekin, beating my chops with Big Buster.|
|(con. early 1930s) Harlem Glory (1990) 79: Niggers will beat up their gums, for all they can do is talk.|
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 244: Conn was probably still beating his gums.|
|letter 16 Mar. in Charters I (1995) 143: The farmers were chewing the fat in feed and hardware stores, the women were chopping their gums in Five-and-Tens.|
|Battle Cry (1964) 291: The squad, sitting about, beating their gums.|
|Cast the First Stone 108: You’re not just beating your lip [...] Doggone right.|
|Book of Negro Folklore 481: beat up your chops: Talking a lot. Stop beating up your chops, gal.|
|Quality of Violence (1978) 93: You can stay and beat up you’ gum, if you want. I not listening no more.|
|Hiparama of the Classics 14: The Cat is still up there beatin’ on his chops.|
|,||(ref. to WWII)DAS 22/1: bat one’s gums To converse; to talk idly but volubly; to chat.|
|,||DAS 103/1: chop [one’s] teeth To talk idly; to interject unnecessary remarks into a conversation.|
|(con. 1940s) Admiral (1968) 255: Another shot, Fatty, and quit beating your gums.|
|Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 152: Wonder the big boss ain’t beating up his chops about that ain’t the right way and crime don’t pay.|
|(con. 1960s) Black Gangster (1991) 266: If all you goin’ do is beat your gums about it.|
|G’DAY 58: Mrs Foster and Shirl sit down and start flapping their gums, and Jason .is left in charge of cooking the snaggers.|
|Teenage Wasteland 63: That’s the art of street hang. Telling stories, throwing the bull, smackin’ your gums.|
2. to talk in a melodramatic manner.
|Novels and Stories (1995) 1002: Last night when I left you, you was beating up your gums and broadcasting about how hot you was.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 98: Ain’t that just like cops? Always beating their gums.|
3. to eat.
|Man with the Golden Arm 91: Stash beat his gums around the evening pumpernickel.|
4. to complain.
|in Sweet Daddy 58: I mean I dig anywhere. No use beating your chops.|
don’t talk rubbish!
|(con. 1950) Band of Brothers 1: ‘Three months out of P.I. and you’re a real old salt!’ ‘Beat your gums!’.|
|Touch Mi, Tell Mi 19: Soh dem can tan de beat up dem gum, / For dem noh how nutten go.‘Name Shame’ in|