Etymology
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chuck (v.1)

"to throw," 1590s, variant of chock "give a blow under the chin" (1580s), possibly from French choquer "to shock, strike against," imitative (see shock (n.1)). Meaning "pat playfully, give ablow to" is from 1610s. Related: Chucked; chucking.

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chuck (n.1)

"piece of wood," 1670s; "piece of meat," 1723; probably a variant of chock (n.) "block." "Chock and chuck appear to have been originally variants of the same word, which are now somewhat differentiated" [OED].

Chock and Chuck, Are low terms, very frequently used before full,—as the coach was chock full of passengers. The house was chuck full. [Daniel Powers, "A Grammar on an Entirely New System," West Brookfield, 1845]

Specifically of shoulder meat from early 18c. (the exact cut varies from place to place). Meaning "device for holding work in a lathe or other machine" is from 1703 (also chock). American English chuck wagon (1880) is from a mid-19c. meaning "food, grub," generalized from the meat sense.

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sponge (v.)

late 14c., "to soak up with a sponge," also (transitive) "to cleanse or wipe with a sponge," from sponge (n.). The slang sense of "to live in a parasitic manner, live at the expense of others" is attested from 1670s; sponger (n.) in this sense is from 1670s. Originally it was the victim who was the sponge (c. 1600), because he or she was being "squeezed." Intransitive sense "dive for sponges" is from 1881. Related: Sponged; sponging.

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sponge (n.)

Old English sponge, spunge, from Latin spongia "a sponge," also "sea animal from which a sponge comes," from Greek spongia, related to spongos "sponge," of unknown origin. "Probably a loanword from a non-IE language, borrowed independently into Greek, Latin and Armenian in a form *sphong-" [de Vaan]. The Latin word is the source of Old Saxon spunsia, Middle Dutch spongie, Old French esponge, Spanish esponja, Italian spugna.

In English in reference to the marine animal from 1530s. To throw in the sponge "quit, submit" (1860) is from prizefighting, in reference to the sponges used to cleanse the faces of combatants between rounds (compare later throw in the towel). Sponge-cake is attested from 1808.

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chuck (n.2)

"slight blow under the chin," 1610s, from chuck (v.1). Meaning "a toss, a throw" is from 1862.

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up (n.)

"that which is up," 1530s, from up (adv.). Phrase on the up-(and-up) "honest, straightforward" first attested 1863, American English.

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up (adv.)

Old English up, uppe, from Proto-Germanic *upp- "up" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon up "up, upward," Old Norse upp; Danish, Dutch op; Old High German uf, German auf "up"; Gothic iup "up, upward," uf "on, upon, under;" Old High German oba, German ob "over, above, on, upon"), from PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over."

As a preposition, "to a higher place" from c. 1500; also "along, through" (1510s), "toward" (1590s). Often used elliptically for go up, come up, rise up, etc. Up the river "in jail" first recorded 1891, originally in reference to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson from New York City. To drive someone up the wall (1951) is from the notion of the behavior of lunatics or caged animals. Insulting retort up yours (scil. ass) is attested by late 19c.

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up- 

prefix with various senses, from Old English up (adv.), corresponding to similar prefixes in other Germanic languages.

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up (v.)

1550s, "to drive and catch (swans)," from up (adv.). Intransitive meaning "get up, rise to one's feet" (as in up and leave) is recorded from 1640s. Sense of "to move upward" is recorded from 1737. Meaning "increase" (as in up the price of oil) is attested from 1915. Compare Old English verb uppian "to rise up, swell." Related: Upped; upping. Upping block, used for mounting or dismounting horses, carriages, etc., is attested from 1796 (earlier was horsing-block, 1660s).

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up (adj.)

c. 1300, "dwelling inland or upland," from up (adv.). Meaning "going up" is from 1784. From 1815 as "excited, exhilarated, happy," hence "enthusiastic, optimistic." Up-and-coming "promising" is from 1848. Musical up-tempo (adj.) is recorded from 1948.

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