Everywhere I've looked, it seems chugging down has to be followed by a drink. But can I use it with food as well? Like "I was doing something (say, walking) while chugging down my lunch". Is it okay? If not, what's a better way to say it?

Edit: In the context I'm trying to use it, I don't want any pleasant connotations with it, or make it seem like the person is enjoying it or hungry even, or eating 'enthusiastically', as 'scarf' seems to suggest. In my context the person is doing it out of necessity, in a depressing/sad way. That's why 'chugging down' was the first solution that popped up--there's nothing necessarily pleasant about it, and one can eat in the same manner as he would chug down a drink (literally without chewing and finish it within the span of seconds). I'm also thinking about Yosef's comment under my question about what makes something okay and not okay, especially when it's a slang. Any thoughts on this?

To further clarify:

  1. Chugging down doesn't necessary imply enthusiasm or appetite (in my opinion).
  2. I do want the intensity / speed / mechanics / imagery of 'chugging down' to be there -- it's not merely the depressing aspect of it I'm trying to get at.
  • 1
    It's slang, so it's up to you. People say they inhaled their food, so that's metaphorical as well. Wolfed it down. Exaggeration is normal. Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 2:52
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    Only if you put it through a blender first.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 2:56
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    What did you find when you looked up chug in a good dictionary? Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 3:29
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    Chugging is usually reserved for drink and most often alcoholic drink at that.
    – Elliot
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 3:36
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    Chugging down doesn't necessary imply enthusiasm or appetite (in my opinion) @Mari-LouA Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


No, the word chug is not supposed to be used with food, as in "chugging down my lunch"

The word "chug" applies only to beverages and other liquids

  • Sarah dared Hilary to chug down a beer (YES)
  • I was chugging down a glass of lemonade when the doorbell rang (YES)
  • Harry chugged down a sandwich (NO. Sandwiches are not liquids)
  • Bob chugged down a glass full of bleach (grammatically correct, but inadvisable)

If you want to talk about solid food, then you could say:

  • I snarfed down my lunch
  • I gobbled down my lunch in a hurry.
  • I wolfed down my lunch.
  • I ate my lunch quickly
  • I ate my lunch hastily
    • only aristocrats, and people born 300 years ago use the word "hastily," so I do not recommend it.
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    @Mari-LouA I have lived in the United States for almost 30 years. I have never heard someone use to word "chug" for meals or solid foods. Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 5:02
  • Great. Then please edit your answer and include that information in your answer. These are things which learners can never be 100% certain.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 5:07
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    @Mari-LouA - The verb for food is wolf. He wolfed down a hotdog and ran out the door.
    – Jim
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 5:55
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    @Jim In fact, I upvoted as soon as it was suggested in the answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 6:04
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    scarf is a word for both eating and drinking voraciously.
    – user405662
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 7:30

I'm adding this answer following your edit that the term should not connote gustatory pleasure:

You ploughed/plowed through your meal.

To plough/plow through something is to complete a task (with finishing a meal being a typical example) with difficulty or great effort; in this case, to doggedly or determinedly consume food with steady progress in an analogous way to chugging a liquid.

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