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Example:

Anyway, we should start today's episode. And today we are doing a chatterbox episode and that is where we talk about a subject in depth and just sort of chat it out.

What does that expression mean exactly? Could you please give me some additional examples of how it's used in everyday conversation?

  • Compare with dance it out – CowperKettle Dec 9 '14 at 18:46
  • It probably means "chat about it for a while." It is not a common expression (in AmE) and I would not use it. It sounds like it is a spinoff of "hash it out," but use of "chat" suggests informal and congenial. – Adam Dec 9 '14 at 18:56
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I've not heard the phrase chat it out used before. I can find it on Google, but it's not commonly used. A Google Ngram doesn't return any instances of "chat it out." I suspect that they are adapting the phrase "talk it out" to "chat it out" because they've named the type of show a "chatterbox episode."

What they mean is that they will examine a topic, perhaps a controversial social or political issue, in detail, and try to come to a resolution of the issue. Calling it a "chat" implies that the discussion will be civil and relatively lighthearted. They're thinking about the issue but doing so out loud and in a group rather than in their own minds.

Talk it out can mean much the same thing as debate or discuss. It is often used when two parties disagree on an issue and are reluctant to have a civil discussion with one another, even though that discussion would benefit both parties. Here are a few examples:

  • Democrats and Republicans disagree on immigration policy less than most people think. If they would just come together and talk it out, something productive might occur.

  • Jane was dating John, but now he's with Sally and the girls are fighting. They play on the same basketball team and see each other every day, so at some point they're going to have to talk it out.

  • Sam has been really distraught since his mother passed away; I really think it would help if he would open up about his feelings and talk it out with a friend.

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It means to have a conversation until you reach a conclusion. If you were just to chat, it would be aimless and for the joy of conversation. Chatting it out implies that you wish to come to some sort of agreement in the end. It's the same as working it out, where you may be given a problem that you need to solve, or any other phrases in that same ilk such as fleshing it out or planning it out, both meaning to work on a task with a certain aim.

Example:

I have some ideas regarding our new office structure. Can we meet up and chat it out over lunch?

I chatted it out with John and we decided that no, we won't have hover-desks.

Please bear in mind that it is a very colloquial phrase and would never be used in formal writing as it makes no grammatical sense.

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“Talk it out” is more common in my experience.

talk something out

to settle something by discussion.

Let's not get mad. Let's just talk it out. Please, let's talk out this matter calmly.

Source: McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs, via TFD

There’s also an element of “tease out” to be aware of.

tease out something also tease something out

to carefully separate particular facts from a great deal of information

What has always been interesting for me is how you can tease out the reasons for an event as you review its history.

After a while, you learn how to tease out the errors hidden in texts.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms, via TFD

The implication is that an attempt will be made to resolve (or at least clarify) a complex topic through conversation. The speaker seems hopeful that over the course of a targeted dialog, certain elements will be pulled out and discussed with the end result of greater understanding of the issue.

Keep in mind that “sort of” is a universal hedge, there to inform you that what follows does not perfectly express the speaker’s mind and/or isn’t common parlance.

. . .we talk about a subject in depth and just sort of chat it out.

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