cheese it

cheese

2 [cheez]
verb (used with object), cheesed, cheesing. Slang.
1.
to stop; desist.
Idioms
2.
cheese it,
a.
look out!
b.
run away!

Origin:
1805–15; perhaps alteration of cease

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cheese1 (tʃiːz)
 
n
1.  the curd of milk separated from the whey and variously prepared as a food
2.  a mass or complete cake of this substance
3.  any of various substances of similar consistency, etc: lemon cheese
4.  slang big cheese an important person
5.  as alike as chalk and cheese, as different as chalk and cheese See chalk
 
[Old English cēse, from Latin cāseus cheese; related to Old Saxon kāsi]

cheese2 (tʃiːz)
 
vb
1.  (tr) to stop; desist
2.  prison slang (intr) to act in a grovelling manner
 
[C19: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cheese
O.E. cyse, from W.Gmc. *kasjus, from L. caseus "cheese," from PIE base *kwat- "to ferment, become sour." Earliest refs. would be to compressed curds of milk used as food; pressed or molded cheeses with rinds are 14c. As a photographer's word to make subjects hold a smile, it is attested from 1930, but
in a reminiscence of schoolboy days, which suggests an earlier use. To make cheeses was a schoolgirls' amusement (1835) of wheeling rapidly so one's petticoats blew out in a circle then dropping down so they came to rest inflated and resembling a wheel of cheese; hence, used figuratively for "a deep curtsey."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Cheese definition


(A.S. cese). This word occurs three times in the Authorized Version as the translation of three different Hebrew words: (1.) 1 Sam. 17:18, "ten cheeses;" i.e., ten sections of curd. (2.) 2 Sam. 17:29, "cheese of kine" = perhaps curdled milk of kine. The Vulgate version reads "fat calves." (3.) Job 10:10, curdled milk is meant by the word.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

cheese it

Stop, look out, as in Cheese it! Here come the cops! This term, generally stated as an imperative, may have been a replacement for the earlier "Stop at once." Eric Partridge speculated that it may have been a corruption of Cease! but its true origin is not known. [Slang; mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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