Green’s Dictionary of Slang

chump n.

[ext. of 18C SE chump, a short thick lump of wood chopped or sawn from timber]

1. [mid-19C+] the head, the face.

2. [mid-19C+] a person, esp. a regular working man; thus, in sl. terms, a fool.

3. [late 19C+] (also chumpie, chumpkin) a fool; anyone gullible or easily taken in.

4. [late 19C+] (also old chump) a general term of address, either derog. or teasing.

5. [1970s] (US black) a second-rate pimp, one who just makes enough money to get by.

6. [1940s+] (US black) a disloyal gang member.

7. [1990s+] (US prison) a deliberate insult, implying the subject’s weakness and/or homosexuality; the spur to a fight.

In compounds

chump change

see separate entries.

chumphead (n.)

[mid-19C-1900s] a fool, an idiot; thus chumpheaded adj.

chump job (n.)

[1930s+] (US) respectable, low-paying, regular work.

chump squeeze (n.)

[1950s–60s] (US black) a punch on the arm or shoulder, its meaning varying according to context.

In phrases

chump out (v.)

[1960s] (US black) to make a mistake, to blunder.

off one’s chump

[mid-19C+] mad, eccentric.

provide one’s chump (v.) [Yorks. dial. chump, a lump of meat; Suffolk dial. bread and chumps, bread and cheese ]

[mid-19C–1910s] (UK Und.) to earn one’s living.

use one’s chump (v.)

[20C+] to act intelligently.