If you have ever heard the common expression ‘chalk and cheese’ during English conversation, you may have wondered what it means. We are going to take a look at how this phrase can be used, where it came from, and what the meaning behind it is.
Chalk and Cheese
Chalk and Cheese Meaning
When someone says that two people or two objects are like chalk and cheese, they are referring to the fact that those two people or objects are completely different to one another.
Origin of this idiom
The term ‘chalk and cheese’ was first written in a text by John Gower, way back in 1390 and it appeared as ‘ Lo, how they feignen chalk and chese.’ Of course, this was written in a very old style of English and has since evolved with the language over time.
“Chalk and Cheese” Examples
You would be likely to use this term to describe two people who get along but are completely different in their personalities. You might say something along the lines of
- ‘John and Mary get along so well but I’m surprised since they are like chalk and cheese.’
You could also use it to refer to a reason why two people do not get along with one another, for example you might say something like
- ‘John and Mary cannot stand to be in the same room as one another, they always end up arguing because their opinions are so different, they’re just like chalk and cheese.‘
- They’re like chalk and cheese , those two.
- My brother and I are like chalk and cheese.
- Frank and I will never get along. We’re chalk and cheese.
- We are very aware of our differences, we accept that we are chalk and cheese.
- They look alike but they’re as different as chalk and cheese.
- I suppose we are not as different as chalk and cheese.
You might use the term ‘chalk and cheese’ in many different conversations, here are some examples of how it can be used.
- Person 1: “I am really enjoying spending time with you.”
- Person 2: “Me too. I didn’t think we would have this much fun considering we are so much like chalk and cheese.”
- Person 1: “Did you enjoy your time with Michael yesterday?”
- Person 2: “Not at all, we had nothing to talk about, we are like chalk and cheese.”
Other Ways to Say the Phrase
There are a lot of ways you might express the idiomatic term ‘chalk and cheese.’ Here are a few examples of how you can show the same meaning but with different wording.
- They’re like night and day
- Totally incompatible
- They’re from different planets
- Apples and oranges
- Night and day
- Fundamentally different
The Meaning of “Chalk and Cheese” | Image