Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Jul 9 16:53:09 UTC 2006

>"Cheese" Burger was the referee.  The fact that a person with a last name
>of "Burger" could have the nickname "Cheese" would probably indicate that
>the term was well known by that point.  I can't think of anything other
>than a hamburger with cheese on it as an explanation.

I recommend caution.

The newspaper article may be the only place the exact expression "Cheese
Burger" was ever applied to Mr. Burger. Maybe he was called "Cheese" (but
never "Cheese Burger") by his friends. The reporter of course wants to give
the nickname and the surname.

Why might he have been called "Cheese" (with or without his surname) in the
absence of "cheeseburgers"?

(1) His first name was Chester, or something else which looked or sounded
something like "cheese".

(2) He was fat, or had a round face.

(3) He had some other personal characteristic which suggested the name.

(4) [my favorite] "Cheese" referred to limburger cheese (even if his first
name wasn't Lynn, Leonard, Lemuel, or so, this still seems plausible:
limburger cheese is/was a standard in jokes and figures of speech because
of its smell).

-- Doug Wilson

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.9.10/383 - Release Date: 7/7/2006

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list