native people formerly of southeastern U.S., 1722, from Choctaw (Muskogean) Chahta, of uncertain meaning, but also said to be from Spanish chato "flattened," for the tribe's custom of flattening the heads of male infants. As a figure skating step, first recorded 1892, probably based on Mohawk (it is a variation of that step). Sometimes used in 19c. American English as typical of a difficult or incomprehensible language (compare Greek in this sense from c. 1600).
updated on November 14, 2017