Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cheese.

 Cheek by Jowl.Cheese. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tusser says that a cheese, to be perfect, should not be like (1) Gehazi, i.e. dead white, like a leper; (2) not like Lot’s wife, all salt; (3) not like Argus, full of eyes; (4) not like Tom Piper, “hoven and puffed,” like the cheeks of a piper; (5) not like Crispin, leathery; (6) not like Lazarus, poor; (7) not like Esau, hairy; (8) not like Mary Magdalene, full of whey or maudlin; (9) not like the Gentiles, full of maggots or gentils; and (10) not like a bishop, made of burnt milk. (Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.)   1
   A cheese which has no resemblance to these ten defects is “quite the cheese.”   2
   Bread and cheese. Food generally, but of a frugal nature. “Come and take your bread and cheese with me this evening.”   3
   A green cheese: An unripe cheese.   4
   The moon made of green cheese. A slight resemblance, but not in the least likely. “You will persuade him to believe that the moon is made of green cheese.” (See above.)   5
   ’Tis an old rat that won’t eat cheese. It must be a wondrously toothless man that is inaccessible to flattery; he must be very old indeed who can abandon his favourite indulgence; only a very cunning rat knows that cheese is a mere bait.   6

 Cheek by Jowl.Cheese. 


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