Green’s Dictionary of Slang

chew up v.

1. (US, also chew over) to defeat, to overcome; ext. as chew up and spit out (cf. chaw v. (1)).

[US]R.F. Burton City of the Saints 227: I’ll be chewed up if I don’t run over you.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 17/1: He’d tell of boot-closers who’d hemmed him in / While he was thumping one, and mauled and mobbed him, / And then relate with joy – this child of sin – / How, one by one, he’d chewed ’em up and jobbed ’em.
[US]J. London ‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in High School Aegis X (15 Feb.) 2–3: Yer ought’to see de gang. Dey’d liked ter a chewed me up an’ pushed me nose in.
[UK]Marvel III:55 7: The man the hooligans want to chew up.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 23 Aug. 5/3: Cress an’ me’ll jist nachally light in an’ he’p y’u chew up the hull bunch!
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Jan. 2nd sect. 3/1: After being ‘chawed up’ by Arthur Douglas at the Sydney Stadium, George Johns announced his retirement from the ring for good.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 290: The mouthpiece had done a good job of work for the dock brief and chewed them up properly. They had looked a couple of fools.
[US]S. Sterling ‘Ten Carats of Lead’ in Black Mask Stories (2010) 233/1: You like you been in another fracas [...] Get chewed up a little?
[US]M. Spillane Return of the Hood 60: He’s nuts! Ernie’ll chew him up. He can’t pull a stunt like that.
[US](con. 1969) M. Herr Dispatches 48: Six canteen patrols that came back [...] chewed over by ambushes and quick, deft mortar-rocket attacks.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 58: Hearts would break as he swiftly chews us up and spits us out again.
[US](con. 1967) E. Spencer Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 154: Bravo sent out another mortar company to assist. It got chewed up by concentrated mortar fire.
[US]Dr Dre ‘Lyrical Gangbang’ [lyrics] Chewin motherfuckers up like a Hershey Kiss.
[UK]J. Cameron It Was An Accident 114: What do you want to know before I chew you up and spit you out?

2. (US) to scold harshly, to reprimand severely; thus chewing-up n.

[US] in Bodleian Quarterly Rev. II 153: To chew up, to reprimand severely [HDAS].
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 384: Chewed Up (To Be). To be ‘told off,’ reprimanded.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 39: I spent thirty-four months havin’ green-ass corporals chew me up.
[US](con. WWII) F.I. Gwaltney Heaven and Hell 232: Grimes [...] gave the new muck-up a chewing up.

3. (S.Afr.) to upset.

[SA]C. Hope Separate Development 179: It must have chewed up your people.