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.

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 that indicate how this expression came into existence. So let’s talk them.

The first theory says that liver is not always viewed on the same level as others 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 usually 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 sometimes, a person might feel like their thoughts or feelings are not being considered as fully as they should, so they feel like they are being treated as if they were a side dish.

The phrase is used in a comic strip from the Ames Daily Tribune newspaper, 1971. The comic is called Winthrop and it was written by Dick Cavalli. Even though he later discontinued it, the comic can be seen in the image above.


Example Sentence(s)

  1. Jake, a friend of mine, asked what my sister and I thought of his new clothes, but he seemed to specifically ignore my comments… what am I, chopped liver?

Note: The origins for many popular sayings are not really clear. So in such cases, what you’ll probably see me listing on a page are theories as to how a phrase may have come to be. But keep in mind that these are theories. As for the quotes, I try to find the oldest recordings that I can. The quotes I find usually come from old books, poems, or newspapers. These quotes help give an idea for how far back in history a phrase goes.

By the way, you probably already know this, but this website is full of idioms. If you’re looking for one in particular, then might I suggest you use the alphabetical list we have? If you can’t find a phrase that you are looking for, maybe check back another time. Why? Because new ones are being added! Anyways, thanks for stopping by.

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