Origin of chock-fullMiddle English chokkeful, chekefull ; from choke, cheke, cheek + -ful, -ful; now often associated, association with chock, choke
Origin of chock-fullMiddle English chokkeful, chokke-, of unknown meaning (perhaps from choken, to choke; see choke, or from chokken, to thrust, from Old French choquer, to collide with; see shock1) + -ful, -ful.
(comparative more chockfull, superlative most chockfull)
- Alternative form of chock full.
- Alternative spelling of chock full.
From "English Language and Usage" site: c.1400, chokkeful “crammed full,” possibly from choke “cheek” (see cheek (n.)). Or it may be from Old French choquier “collide, crash, hit” [similar to shock]. Middle English chokkeful already had the same meaning as modern chock-full. Both this word and choke “to strangle” likely derive ultimately from Old English words meaning “jaw, cheek.” The end result is the same: a mouthful.
Alternately, chokkeful may derive from a more violent word: forced full.
(Some offer a false etymology based on the kind of chocks used in carpentry and shipbuilding: full up to the chocks, perhaps. However that sense of chock only dates to the 1670s, far too late to influence the Middle English word.)
From "Online Etymology Dictionary" site: c.1400, chokkeful "crammed full," possibly from choke "cheek" (see cheek (n.)). Or it may be from Old French choquier "collide, crash, hit" (13c., Modern French choquer), which is probably from Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch schokken; see shock (n.1)).