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Cheshire

[chesh-er, -eer] /ˈtʃɛʃ ər, -ɪər/
noun
1.
Formerly Chester. a county in NW England. 899 sq. mi. (2328 sq. km).
2.
a town in central Connecticut.
3.
Also called Cheshire cheese, Chester. a hard cheese, yellowish, orange, or white in color, made of cow's milk and similar to cheddar.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Cheshire

Cheshire1

/ˈtʃɛʃə; ˈtʃɛʃɪə/
noun
1.
a former administrative county of NW England; administered since 2009 by the unitary authorities of Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East: low-lying and undulating, bordering on the Pennines in the east; mainly agricultural: the geographic and ceremonial county includes Warrington and Halton, which became independent unitary authorities in 1998. Area 2077 sq km (802 sq miles) Ches

Cheshire2

/ˈtʃɛʃə/
noun
1.
Group Captain (Geoffrey) Leonard. 1917–92, British philanthropist: awarded the Victoria Cross in World War II; founded the Leonard Cheshire Foundation Homes for the Disabled: married Sue, Baroness Ryder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Cheshire

1086, Cestre Scire, from Chester + scir "district" (see shire). Cheshire cat and its proverbial grin are attested from 1770, but the signification is obscure.

I made a pun the other day, and palmed it upon Holcroft, who grinned like a Cheshire cat. (Why do cats grin in Cheshire?--Because it was once a county palatine, and the cats cannot help laughing whenever they think of it, though I see no great joke in it.) I said that Holcroft, on being asked who were the best dramatic writers of the day, replied, "HOOK AND I." Mr Hook is author of several pieces, Tekeli, &c. You know what hooks and eyes are, don't you? They are what little boys do up their breeches with. [Charles Lamb, letter to Thomas Manning, Feb. 26, 1808]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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