Two very different items – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

As different as chalk and cheese

That funny saying popped straight to mind when I saw Cee’s challenge. It got me wondering where the saying originated so I checked out the etymology of it.

The meaning is 2 things that are superficially alike but fundamentally very different. Although I never thought of cheese and chalk as alike apparently the surface of unaged cheese looks like chalk albeit much softer.

According to World Wide Words the saying was first recorded as being used in 1393.

The earliest example — from John Gower’s Confessio Amantis of 1393 — suggests that some shopkeeper was making an illicit profit by adulterating his wares: “And thus ful ofte chalk for cheese he changeth with ful littel cost”. The buyer was surely undiscerning; though some British cheeses are rather chalk-like in appearance, substituting more than a tiny proportion of cheese with chalk wouldn’t fool anybody for very long.

So there we have it folks the origins of “as different as chalk and cheese”

In Response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Two very different things

Previous efforts at Cee’s number challenge series  One

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)

Leanne

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14 responses to “Two very different items – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

  1. Pingback: Numbers and Letters – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge | NihongoJapango·

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  4. That is one of those phrases I’ve heard all my life (and probably used); understood the meaning, but never wondered why people said that. I guess it shows how easy it is to use language unthinkingly. Thanks for that; I’ll have to think of a few other “old sayings” I know and find out where they come from too. Cheers, Su.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leanne, I think it’s supposed to be in the same photograph, but you can check with Cee. Interesting comparison; chalk and cheese.

    Like

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