Cash in one’s chips

Cash in one’s chips is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying cash in one’s chips, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

The literal meaning of cash in one’s chips is to turn in one’s gambling or gaming chips to reap the money that the chips represent. However, the idiom cash in one’s chips can mean to liquidate one’s assets or it can mean to die. The image is of ending a game and reaping the benefits of whatever you have won during that game. The idiom cash in one’s chips came into use in the early 1900s. Poker chips and gambling chips in the shape of discs came into use in the mid-1800s; before this time, numerous objects were used in wagering games, including coins and paper money. Related phrases are cashes in one’s chips, cashed in one’s chips, cashing in one’s chips.


Who knows if he will run in the future or just cash in his chips now, but one thing is certain: He served as a president, and therefore, should eventually have a presidential museum bearing his name. (Daily Illini)

Thomas “Tom” Lee Dyer Sr., of House Dyer, King of House 112, Protector of Center Street Landscaping, Ungraceful Descender of Ladders, Sipper of Pepsi, 66, of Middleburg, folded and cashed in his chips on Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Daily Item)

While Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man may have cashed in his chips and Chris Evans’ Captain America handed his shield onto the next generation, the third of the original Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes – Chris Hemsworth’s Norse God Thor – still has more adventures ahead post-Avengers: Endgame, with Hemsworth set to return for solo sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. (RadioTimes Magazine)

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