It’s actually “champing at the bit.” That drives me up the wall.
“Its actually champing at the bit. That drives me up the wall.”
Right you are: “Champing at the bit vs. chomping at the bit”:
“One definition of bit is a metal mouthpiece used for controlling a horse, and one definition of champ is to bite or chew noisily. These are the senses meant in the idiom champing at the bit, which refers to the tendency of some horses to chew on the bit when impatient or eager. In its figurative sense, it means to show impatience while delayed, or just to be eager to start.
“The idiom is usually written chomping at the bit, and some people consider this spelling wrong. But chomp can also mean to bite or chew noisily (though chomped things are often eaten, while champed things are not), so chomp at the bit means roughly the same as champ at the bit.
“In fact, chomp, which began as a variant of champ, is alive in English while the biting-related sense of champ is dead outside this idiom, so its no wonder that chomping at the bit is about 20 times as common as champing at the bit on the web. Champing at the bit can sound funny to people who arent familiar with the idiom or the obsolete sense of champ, while most English speakers can infer the meaning of chomping at the bit.
“Still, if youre writing for school or for readers who are versed in English, champing at the bit is probably the safer choice.”