Good Question: "Why are accomplishments and failures given 'cheesy' names?"


(KUTV) Caputo’s market in Downtown Salt Lake City can get a little cheesy, and that's not a play on words. They sell mass quantiles of the stuff.

“I think about cheese a lot," laughs CEO Matt Caputo.

Caputo is, himself an expert on cheese and he has the diploma to prove it from the American Cheese Society.

"If you pass, you become a certified cheese professional, and I was a part of the first graduating class."

That sort of makes him the big cheese!

But 'big cheese' and 'cheesy' are among the common phrases that derive from the fragrant dairy product. It prompted one 2News viewer to write, asking how the idioms came to be.

The answer, according to multiple sources online, has nothing to do with cheese. It has to do with a similar sounding word: "Chiz."

Chiz comes from 17th century India and, roughly translated, meant, "positive thing."

As European countries did a lot of trading with India, traders picked up on the super common word and worked it into Englihs vocabulary.

Calling someone a "Big Chiz" was a compliment. So was calling someone "Chizy."

But, over decades, the phrase became synonymous with "showy."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off