cheese, the n.
1. (also the real cheese) just what is wanted.
|General Reciter 76: ‘Aye, sir, aye, that, that’s the cheese’.|
|Swell’s Night Guide 75: I should’t like that slum [i.e. a fight] afore the donnas, cos it arnt the cheese.|
|Adelaide Times 18 June 2/4: Fellow-workmen, the placards of Mr Kingston are direct insults to us, extracts from the Mercury, and bills describing that he is the ‘Real cheese,’ and ‘Rale boy for the Burra,’ is language only fit to be adapted to the lowest pot-house drunkard and brawler.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Oct. 1/1: Less noise there, ladies, if you please, / Sich conduct is not quite the cheese.|
|Nth Aus, Ipswich & General Advertiser 12 Apr. 3/6: The slang term, ‘that’s the cheez,' for ‘that’s the thing.’ ‘Cheez' being Hindustani for ‘thing’.|
|Hard Cash II 186: I’ve heard Nudity is not the cheese on public occasions.|
|Trial 16: Mason – Ah! that is good, very good, in fact the real cheese, the real Stilt-on cheese.|
|Misses and Matrimony 76: He is quite a boy, and I hate boys, they are so conceited, and think it the right thing – the cheese, as they call it – to pay one a lot of clumsy compliments.|
|Palace & Hovel 69: My highlows were the cheese, with breeches to the knees.|
|Americanisms 112: That’s the cheese, i.e. just the thing; that was well done.|
|Leics. Chron. 24 May 12/3: The grub here isn’t quite the cheese.|
|Ft Worth Dly Gaz. (TX) 29 Aug. 6/3: When we seed a girl we liked [...] / We called her pretty neat, and good, / But not ‘about the cheese’.|
|Oak-Bough and Wattle-Blossom (1946) n.p.: Some limit the period to five years, the duration of an ordinary trade apprenticeship; some think seven years ‘the cheese;’ whilst others, again, whom we charitably credit with an awful experience of new chum ignorance and stupidity, would [...] protract the date of emancipation ‘yet other seven.’.|
|Sporting Times 18 Jan. 3/1: [It] vhasn’t kvite the cheese.‘Houndsditch Day By Day’|
|Tales of the Early Days 161: He felt it was ‘not quite the cheese’ [...] for him to place himself in direct communication with the principal in the plot he had contrived.|
|Yarn of Bucko Mate 218: I knew it was n’t just the cheese to you two, so we ’ll not do it again.|
|John Henry 54: A fish diet is said to be the real cheese for the brain.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Dec. 19/4: But the next thing I knew was that I was sitting on the top of a hansom cab with my legs dangling. [...] He swore it wasn’t ‘the cheese’ to drive down King-street like that.|
|Chicago May (1929) 267: Suddenly, he got a brilliant idea, for him, that it would be the cheese for him to break into Christie’s art department, steal a painting.|
|Moor’s Last Sigh 97: ‘You samjao that baysharram pair,’ said the eldest sister Aspinwall, ‘that this sort of tamasha is simply not the cheese.’.|
2. (also the real cheese) the best (of a given type or style), the superlative.
|Ingoldsby Legends (1847) 192: My ‘Conjuring cap’ – it’s the thing; – it’s ‘the cheese!’.‘The Lord of Thoulouse’ in|
|N&Q VII 25 June 618/1: ‘Bosh’ [and] ‘just the cheese’ are also exotics from the land of the Qui-Hies [...] ‘Just the cheese,’ i.e. just the thing I require, quite comme il faut, &c.|
|Box And Cox in Darkey Drama 6 Preface: This piece will be found ‘just the cheese’.|
|‘’Arry in Parry’ in Punch 15 Nov. 217/1: My accent’s considered the cheese.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Jan. 8/3: With expression ‘fly’ and ‘leary,’ / With as much as he can carry / Of bad beer and rum, come ’Arry / In a ‘rig’ that’s quite the ‘cheese.’.|
|Yale Yarns 252: I’ve heard that nowadays to talk way down in their boots, like men, was just the cheese.|
|Maison De Shine 281: They’re all right in their way, but a ball’s the real cheese if you want to get the money.|
|Dubliners (1956) 48: And one night she brought me two bloody fine cigars – O, the real cheese, you know.‘Two Gallants’|
|Classics in Sl. 84: I can go in weighin’ four ounces and still knock your cheese champ for a trip!|
|Hobo’s Hornbook 54: I had a cross-eyed daughter, / And she was just the cheese. / Mashes! why she had ’em by the barrel, / Each one a pimple-faced hick.‘The Boss Tramp’ in|
3. an admirable person; esp. as the real cheese.
|Lays of Ind 29: When, at sunset, most carefully dressed, / To the bandstand he cantered at ease. / His mind was completely at rest, / For he thought he was rather the cheese.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Apr. 6/3: She next turned her attention to a mysterious gentleman in Cheshire, who seems not to have been quite the Cheshire cheese.|
|[||Day Book (Chicago) 8 May 12/1: Once there was a young blood who considered himself the entire Roquefort].|
|(con. 1900s) Shootist 177: He was a good criminal, the real cheese.|
4. an important or influential person, the boss.
|I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 38: Take me to the cheese [...] The head punk.‘Dead Men Don’t Drink’ in|
5. (US campus) someone or something that is outdated, in bad taste.
|Campus Sl. Apr. 2: the cheese – someone or something that is too flashy, tacky, or out of style.|
of a negative circumstance or objectionable person, to surpass, to outdo.
|Lantern (NO) 12 Feb. 3: Dere wus two gals dere dat took de cheese for toughness.|
|Curvy Lovebox 154: I t’ought I’d be hosin’ down the lavvy tonight but this takes the cheese.|