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Different as chalk and cheese

Posted by Roger on November 28, 2000

In Reply to: Different as chalk and cheese posted by ESC on November 27, 2000

: : Wondering if anyone knows the origin (literary?) of the English idiom "different as chalk and cheese," meaning similar in superficial appearance but very dissimilar in nature. Hope someone knows the answer! Elsa in Allegany County, Maryland.

: I've always believed it came from the dry crumbly hard white cheeses (such as Cheshire) that are popular in the UK and were more popular in past times. Superficially they appear similar to a block of raw chalk (if you've ever seen that when taken off a hillside). I have no literary reference though.