Chock-a-block vs chockablock

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Chock-a-block means crammed full, filled to capacity with people or things. The term chock-a-block started out as a nautical term. Chock-a-block describes a block and tackle pulley system on a ship when it is raised to its fullest extent, there is no more rope free and the blocks are tightly jammed together. The term chock-a-block dates to the mid-1800s, British English favors the hyphenated form, the American form is usually rendered without hyphens as chockablock.


Major roads in North, West and East Delhi were also chock-a-block giving a harrowing time to commuters, as both odd and even numbered private cars returned to the streets. (The Tribune India)

Nitin Dimri was surprised when he reached the parking lot of his apartment building. It was early morning on January 4, Monday, and the entire space was chock-a-block with vehicles — all odd-numbered. (The Statesman)

The area has also been experiencing chock-a-block traffic during morning and evening rush hours. (The Daily Nation)

While the stories are chock-a-block with significant education issues, you won’t be reading any comment from Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari. (The Winnipeg Free Press)

But walks along the city’s leafy older streets, say in colorful, chockablock La Boca or the bourgeois-bohemian district of Palermo with its chic eateries, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and kids kicking soccer balls in alleyways, reveal a city dripping with human-scale pleasures. (The Seattle Times)

Music director Michael Stern and executive director Frank Byrne have designed a season that is chockablock with important classical works, many of which have not been performed by the Kansas City Symphony for many years or even decades. (The Kansas City Star)