What Am I, Chopped Liver?

Meaning:

A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less attention or consideration than someone else.

Example: Nathan is throwing a party and a lot of people have been invited. However, I didn’t receive an invitation; what am I, chopped liver?

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
None.
A newspaper comic that says, "what am I, chopped liver?"
The earliest known appearance of this saying in print might be from a comic that was drawn in the 1970s.

Origin Of ‘What Am I Chopped Liver?’

The origin of this phrase is not really clear. However, I have heard of two theories on how this expression may have come into existence. So let’s talk them.

The first theory says that liver was not always viewed on the same level as other foods. For example, if a person is cooking a chicken, they’ll oftentimes throwaway the giblets, you know, like the liver or gizzard. Or instead of throwing the giblets away, the person will cook them, not for themselves, but for their pets to eat. Hence, since liver is not as desirable to eat as other foods, the expression might spring from such an idea.

Another explanation, as Wikipedia explains, is that “chopped liver was traditionally served as a side dish rather than a main course.” So the idea would be that if a person thinks they are being given less attention than someone else, they might feel like they are being treated like a side dish and not the ‘main course.’

Anyway, how old is this phrase? It’s appears in a comic strip from the Ames Daily Tribune newspaper, 1971. The comic is called Winthrop and was written by Dick Cavalli. Although he later discontinued the comic, a part of it that contains the expression can be seen in the image above.


Example Sentences

  • Jake is my friend, but when he asked me about his new clothes, he ignored my comments. He was more interested in what my brother had to say… what am I, chopped liver?
  • Some of my coworkers received a raise, but I didn’t and I have been working here longer than them! What am I, chopped liver?

Tip: Know Your Phrase has many popular sayings that you can read and learn about. In fact, there are hundreds of idioms on here! So how do you find them? That’s easy. All you have to do is scroll to the top and use the menu. After you pick a letter, it should take you to a list of phrases that start with the letter you selected. Then, start exploring!


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