One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The large spiral shell of the gastropod mollusc Turbinella rapa found in the Indian Ocean, considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism; (also) the gastropod itself. In later use also: the shell of any of various other molluscs of the genus Turbinella.
with object To chew (something), especially noisily or enthusiastically; to munch. Also without object with into, on, etc.
Late 17th century. From Sanskrit śaṁkha (also with vernacular pronunciation śaṁkh) shell (of a marine mollusc), especially conch shell<br>mid 16th century; earliest use found in Arthur Golding (d. 1606), translator. Apparently a variant or alteration of champ.
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