Green’s Dictionary of Slang

chew n.

1. a quid of chewing tobacco.

Disgraced Flunky 1: ‘Well, how much did you get?’ said the Duke. ‘A Shillin’ and a chew,’ said the boy .
[US]H.L. Williams Three Black Smiths in Darkey Drama 4 29: Got a chew?
[UK]J.H. Carter ‘Jim Kane’ Log of Commodore Rollingpin 190: Jim [...] a chew of navy took.
[UK]Greenwood Gaol Birds at Large n.p.: A piece as large as a horsebean, called a chew, is regarded as an equivalent for a twelve-ounce loaf and a meat ration [F&H].
[US]Eve. Star (Wash, DC) 4 Nov. 24/6: His pardner [...] was perishing for a piece of plug [...] the man on the New York end had the chance to go in and lend my man a chew.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 30 Aug. 32/2: The brother [...] sent word asking 23 to send him a ‘chew.’ No. 23 [...] dexterously avoided the eye of Warder Lanigan, and slipped ‘a quarter’ under the gate, knowing that the tobacco-hungry consumptive would be waiting on the other side.
[NZ]T. Bracken ‘Old Bendigo’ in Not Understood and Other Poems 64: Old mate, just pass a chew.
[Aus]V. Marshall World of Living Dead (1969) 82: Over the way a ‘trial ’man had tossed a ‘chew’ to a ‘toeragger’.
[US]N.I. White Amer. Negro Folk-Songs 256: [reported from Auburn, AL, 1915–16] n.p.: Hello Captain, / How do you do? / If you got any Battle Axe, [brand of chewing tobacco] / Send me down a chew.
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 188: I hope like hell next time we’re in the nick together I’m fixed as right as rain and you’re starving for a chew.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 57: I can get me a chew and play a few numbers.
[US]F.X. Toole Rope Burns 90: Only thing Daddy spent money on for himself, besides work clothes, was chew.

2. (US) talk, shouting.

[US](con. 1918) L. Nason Sergeant Eadie 46: ‘What’s all the chew about?’ asked Jake [...] ‘The top kick has been bawling me out,’ said Eadie.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

put the chew on (v.)

to blackmail.

[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Man’s Shakedown’ in Dan Turner Detective Mar. [Internet] Then she put the chew on Sid—and he rubbed her out tonight to keep her from blowing the whistle on him.