A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 16, 2009
Chowhound (Chow Hound)

The word “chowhound” is probably best known today from the Chowhound food website. The term began as the two words “chow hound,” with “chow” meaning “food” and “hound” meaning “fiend” or “fanatic.” A “chowhound” is someone who loves food.

The first citations of “chow hound” appear to be in the 1917-1918 volume of The Marines Magazine, by the United States Marine Corps. The term “chowhound” has had a long military use, extending past both World War I and World War II.

“Meat hound” was a similar term to “chow hound” that was also used about 1918, but this term has fallen into disuse. “Meat hound” was also a 19th century term for a dog who likes to eat meat. It is not known if the marines had used “meat hound” before “chow hound.”


Wikipedia: Chowhound
Chowhound is a popular online food discussion board founded by Jim Leff in 1997, known for its user base of food fanatics. In 2006, Leff sold the board to CNET Networks, which took over and redesigned the site, merging it with CHOW magazine, redirecting the chowhound.com domain to chowhound.chow.com, but keeping its busy forums, grouped by locale.

Book series
Penguin USA has published two Chowhound restaurant guides, The Chowhound’s Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area and The Chowhound’s Guide to the New York Tristate Area.

(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
chowhound n. [CHOW + HOUND] Mil. an overenthusiastic eater.
1917 Marines Magazine (Oct.) 15: Weinstein...keeps unsullied his well-known record...as chow hound.
1918 in Cowing Dear Folks 5: The next scene is necessarily a short one, for I’m not master enough to describe a “chow-hound” in action.
1921 Pirate Piece (May) A “chow hound” from “C” was as cross as could be.
1933 (Jan.) 19: Looks like all the “chow hounds” are on the move.
1922 Amer. Leg. Wkly. (Mar. 3) 11: The chow hound who was always first in line for seconds enjoyed a proud distinction.
1926 Nason Chevrons 118 [ref. to 1918]: “The chow hounds have got too much in their mess-kits to run around to the rear of the line still eatin’,” remarked Ham.
1941 Hargrove Pvt. Hargrove 52: Its number-onechow hound, Buster Charnley, would drop around after supper.
1953-57 Giovannitti Chow hound...All you think of is your gut.
1972 N.Y. Post (June 3) 4: Chow Hound.

meat hound n. CHOWHOUND.
1918 Ruggles Navy Explained 102: A man who thinks of nothing but eat, eat, and eat. He is generally kicking about the “chow,” yet he is the biggest scoffer on the ship.
1938 in Matthews & Wecter Our Soldiers Speak (Oct. 17) 272: [U.S. Navy:] A bunch of meat hounds...gobbled up all the food before it got to my end...The “pelicans” didn’t have a word to say.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: chow·hound
Pronunciation: \ˈchau̇-ˌhau̇nd\
Function: noun
Date: 1917
: one fond of eating

(Oxford English Dictionary)
chowhound, n. 
colloq. (chiefly N. Amer., orig. U.S. Mil. slang).
[< CHOW n. + HOUND n.1]
An (excessively) enthusiastic or voracious eater; a glutton.
1917 Marines Mag. Oct. 15/1 Weinstein..keeps unsullied his well-known record..as chow hound.
1928 Our Army Oct. 48/2 ‘These chow hounds give my eye a pain,’ the old mess sergeant said.
1951 H. WOUK Caine Mutiny xxvi. 289 A big sloppy chowhound named Wagner..had made himself a wax impression of the cook’s key.
2004 Guardian 12 Aug. II. 2/4 Devoted chowhounds could spend the waking hours of the entire six-day voyage doing nothing but grazing. 

Google Books
The Marines Magazine
By United States Marine Corps
Published by C. A. Ketcham, 1917
Item notes: v. 3 (Dec. 1917-Nov. 1918)
Pg. 38:
Orville, the “chow-hound,” has developed wonderful speed skidding down three flights of stairs at every “chow” call.

Google Books
The Marines Magazine
By United States Marine Corps
Published by C. A. Ketcham, 1917
Item notes: v. 3 (Dec. 1917-Nov. 1918)
Pg. 29:
Have we “chow hounds” here? Well, I should smile, for when Toole and O’Connor hit their stride nothing but an empty table can stop them, and Higgins says ...

Google Books
The Navy Explained
By Logan Elsworth Ruggles
Published by E. N. Appleton, inc., 1918
Pg 102:
MEAT HOUND—A man who thinks of nothing but eat, eat and eat. He is generally kicking about the “chow,” yet he is the biggest scoffer on the ship.

5 August 1918, Tulsa (OK) World, “Naval Recruit Letters,” pg. 4:
U.S. Naval Training Camp, Mare Island, Cal., July 27, 1918.
(...)
We have “chow” (breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner or whatever you want to call it is always “chow") about 7 o’clock.
(...)
Smith, the poor fish, is a “chow hound” this week, which means that he is waiting table.

12 August 1918, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, “How the Marines Work and Play; ‘Soldiers of the Sea’ Are Being Turned Out at Mare Island, Cal.” by Associated press, pg. 8, col. 3:
There is a song parody popular at Mare island to the effect that these “chow hounds” won’t go over till it’s over over there.
(...)
The Marines, the officers said, are apt to be a bit “heavy” with those who seek advancement other than through merit; they would like to see such “meat hounds” “shanghaied” to less agreeable details for work.

Google Books
“Dear Folks at Home ---”
The glorious story of the United States Marines in France as told by their Letters from the Battlefield

Compiled by Kemper F. Cowing
Edited by Courtney Ryley Cooper
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company
1919
Pg. 5:
The next scene is necessarily a short one, for I ‘m not master enough to describe a “chow-hound” in action.

27 April 1919, Syracuse (NY) Herald, “Wouldst Know the Language of the Gob? Then Lend Attentive Ear to Lesson One” by Roy Grove, pg. 8, col. 2:
The man who thinks of nothing but eating is a “chow hound.”

Google Books
Army Boys on German Soil:
Our Doughboys Quelling the Mobs

By Homer Randall
Cleveland, OH: The World Syndicate Publishing Co.
1920
Pg. 103:
When it comes to being chow hounds, I think we’re all tarred with the same brush.

Google Books
He’s in the Marine Corps Now
By Josef Israels
New York, NY: R.M. McBride & Company
1943
Pg. 162
Chow—Food.
Chow-hound—Man who eats a lot. This man is generally the first in the mess hall. A quiet type, he grabs everything in sight and eats…

(Trademark)
Word Mark CHOWHOUND
Goods and Services IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Providing on-line electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among users in the field of restaurant reviews, food, cooking, and eating. FIRST USE: 19970706. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970706
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S: Providing a web site featuring on-line restaurant reviews and information about cooking and food preparation; providing a web site where users can post on-line ratings, reviews, and recommendations in the field of restaurant reviews, food preparation, and cooking information. FIRST USE: 19970706. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970706
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 77167026
Filing Date April 26, 2007
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 14, 2008
Registration Number 3552558
Registration Date December 30, 2008
Owner (REGISTRANT) CNET Networks, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE Fourth Floor 235 Second Street San Francisco CALIFORNIA 94105
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Rebecca Borden
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, February 16, 2009 • Permalink