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2. gluttony. — gourmand, gormand, n., adj.
belly-god A glutton or gourmand; one who makes a god of his belly. The term was in use in the mid-16th century.
chowhound A glutton; a hearty eater, a gourmand. The word combines the U.S. slang term for food with the aggressive and uncouth eating habits of a dog. J. B. Roulier describes a “chowhound” in Service Lore: Army Vocabulary (1943):
He is not necessarily a prodigious eater; his unpopularity is usually caused by his roughshod methods in getting first to the best of the food.
The term enjoyed wide use among the Armed Forces in World War II and is now commonly heard in civilian speech.
eat out of house and home To deplete another’s supply of food or money by excessive gluttony, to batten on one’s host or hostess to the point of their ruination. In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II (II, i), Mistress Quickly uses this expression when answering the Lord Chief Justice’s question as to why she had Sir John Falstaff arrested:
He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.
live like fighting cocks To gorge one-self, to eat too much rich food, to overindulge. This British colloquialism, dating from the early 19th century, is puzzling since gamecocks were kept on strictly controlled diets much like boxers and wrestlers. However, since the phrase means to have the best food as well as to have an abundance of it, perhaps the reference is to a fighting cock’s diet as compared to that of an ordinary chicken.
[They] live like fighting-cocks upon the labour of the rest of the community. (William Cobbett, Rural Rides, 1826)
play a good knife and fork To eat heartily. This expression plays on the image of dining utensils in constant motion as someone eats a hearty meal. It appeared in print by the turn of the 19th century in Benjamin Malkin’s 1809 translation of LeSage’s Adventures of Gil Bias:
Domingo, after playing a good knife and fork … took himself off.