knowyourphrase.com - The Meanings and Possible Origins For Quote a Few Common Idioms and Phrases
Phrases and Idioms
A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less attention or consideration than someone else.
The origin of this phrase is not really clear. I have, however, heard of two theories that may indicate how this expression came to be. The first is 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 fully as they should, so they feel as though they are being treated like a side dish.
The phrase is used in a comic strip from the Ames Daily Tribune newspaper, 1971. The comic is called Winthrop, written by Dick Cavalli, who later discontinued it:
* Jake asked Chell and myself what we thought of his new hat, but he seemed to ignore my comments... what am I, chopped liver?
Note: The origins for many phrases 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, and serve as an indicator for how far back in history a phrase goes.