Why? Because I’m a big fan of cheese…and I happened across the word when browsing through etymonline.com (why yes, I browse etymology sites. Doesn’t everyone?? LOL) and realized I had no idea of the history of either the word or the food.

The English word for cheese came into Old English as cyse (Saxon) and cese (Anglian), which took a Germanic path to us from the Latin caseus. But the cheese it would have been referring to is what we today would call cottage cheese–curds. Cheeses with rinds apparently weren’t invented until about the 1300s.

What I found really fun is that the notion of the moon being made of cheese dates from the 1520s! And was, of course, meant to be only a funny and ridiculous assertion. Cheese as the thing we’re told to say when posing for a photograph is first referenced in the 1930s in text–but the reference is talking about remembering being told that in earlier days, so it must have existed in speech for quite a while already.