"make cheese"

A mini-entry, as I've been having trouble with Blogger today. No big spat, nothing to break up over; just a little difference of opinion and some ill-considered words. I'm sure it will blow over by tomorrow.

No picture today, because I couldn't find one, and I really did want one, to illustrate this great English idiom I found. To "make cheese" is to "spread skirt and petticoat round you on the floor by swirling them before sinking down". If I were the kind of person to speculate without foundation about the origin of idioms (in other words, if I felt competent to folk-etymologize with abandon) I would say that perhaps it comes from the notion that a big full skirt and big round cheese might have some topological symmetry. Or something.

But I *did* want a picture (preferably of someone like Doris Day) sitting on the ground with her skirts pleasingly spread out. But my organ of Googling seems to be taking the day off, or is anesthetized, or under the influence of solar flares, or something, so I don't have one. If *YOU* have one, and send me it, and I post it, I will send you something fun & word-related in the mail. So find me a great picture that illustrates this idiom, please. Contest ends Friday at 9 a.m. Central, so you have a little more than 36 hours. Taking a picture of yourself in this (with a really great dress) is of course fine.

0 thoughts on “"make cheese"

  1. I did this with every single wedding dress I tried on. (Spinning is crucial in a fluffy white dress.) Email of the one I ended up getting is on the way.

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  2. I immediately thought of Scarlett O’Hara in the opening picnic scene where she’s sitting and talking to the Tarleton twins. More making cheese. Oh, how I love those dresses!

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  3. I used to work at a 17th century living history museum. We would “play” making cheeses with the kids – twirl around and then sit down on the ground, the winner’s petticoats looked the most like a wheel of cheese. Not nearly so glam as Marilyn Monroe, but might be a help on the “folk-etymology” front, Erin. Cheers!Liz

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  4. Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like some kind of English bedroom game? “spread skirt and petticoat round you on the floor by swirling them before sinking down”.hmmmmm…..

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  5. Well, I just can’t resist a contest so here is a picture of me in skirt and petticoat. No, it is not a graceful swirling but an awkward, admittedly staged, trip down the stairs wearing my custom circle skirt that doubles as a Christmas tree skirt. Do I get points just for making a skirt I can also put around my tree? http://nancydurant.com/i/ebay/tree_skirt2.jpg

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  6. I love the page Erin, I read it nearly everyday and it is a great souce of enjoyment and inspiration!I have a picture in my head of Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” doing somthing like this on a picnic with the kids, the spinning and sitting and all? Not sure if it is correct or not, maybe someone else can confirm.

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  7. I’d like to send you a picture of two English girls “making cheese” in vintage frocks inside a knitted cobweb… Just need to work out how to do it!

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