"Say Cheese"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Apr 1 20:10:10 UTC 2006

On 4/1/06, Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> I don't see the photographer's expression "say cheese" in the OED or HDAS.
> The earliest I find in Newspaperarchive or ProQuest is in the Berkshire
> Evening Eagle, Sept. 26, 1944.

Los Angeles Times, Sep 28, 1942, p. A/1
When we got to the Sphinx the ack ack lieutenant unlimbered his camera
and we got George to take our pictures in a pleasing pose. When he was
ready, George shouted:
"Say cheese."
"Cheese," we all said. "Why?"
"That's what you must say to smile for the picture," said George.
[HNP Doc ID 416345321]

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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