BE: He's a bit cheesy for my taste

Joelline

Senior Member
American English
I'm sorry I can't give more context, but I caught only the tail-end of a conversation on BBC America. "Mary" said that "Sue" had been flirting with "Tom." "Sue" replied, "Well, perhaps, but really, he's a bit cheesy for my taste."

I've never heard the adjective "cheesy" applied to a person. As far as I know in AE, it refers to shoddy things. What does "cheesy" mean when it refers to a person in BE?

Thanks,
Joelline
 
  • Conan Doyle

    Senior Member
    Vietnam, English
    I'm sorry I can't give more context, but I caught only the tail-end of a conversation on BBC America. "Mary" said that "Sue" had been flirting with "Tom." "Sue" replied, "Well, perhaps, but really, he's a bit cheesy for my taste."

    I've never heard the adjective "cheesy" applied to a person. As far as I know in AE, it refers to shoddy things. What does "cheesy" mean when it refers to a person in BE?

    Thanks,
    Joelline
    Yeah, it can be appiled to a person meaning flimsy, shoddy, poor quality (slang or informal)
     

    sofia11

    Member
    Australia English
    Cheesy is actually not a very common word that is used (in Australia anyway). It means in this instance that he is a bit crass and not her type. Maybe too much of a 'goody two shoes' if I can use that term..

    Hope that helps,

    regards

    Sofia11
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks Sofia and Conan. I have to say, however, Conan, that I've also never heard of the adjectives flimsy or shoddy being applied to people! Shoddy workmanship--Yes! A flimsy excuse--Yes! But what is a shoddy person or a flimsy person?
     

    jaxlarus

    Senior Member
    Greek (el-CY)
    Well, as far as I know, when used in BrE it means "maudlin, melodramatic, far too sentimental".
    We often use it referring to movies or songs that try too hard to elicit a certain response from the viewer / listener in a fake or cliché way. Think of Celine Dion, the "Titanic"...
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, as far as I know, when used in BrE it means "maudlin, melodramatic, far too sentimental".
    We often use it referring to movies or songs that try too hard to elicit a certain response from the viewer / listener in a fake or cliché way. Think of Celine Dion, the "Titanic"...
    I agree that when cheesy refers to artistic productions this is the usual sense. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it this way: Tawdry, hackneyed, unsubtle, or excessively sentimental, esp. if nevertheless appealing; ‘tacky’, ‘kitschy’, ‘corny’. According to the Dictionary this meaning is originally from the US.

    Since Joelline's quotation was about a person, I guess that the reference is to the cheesy grin, which is a wide but often insincere one. The Dictionary explains this sense of cheesy like this: colloq. attrib. Denoting a broad, uninhibited smile, frequently an exaggerated grin usually perceived as artificial, ingratiating, or insincere; esp. in cheesy grin. I suppose this comes from photographers saying say cheese! to elicit a smile for the picture - the Dictionary comments: The frequent implication of disingenuousness suggests the influence of two earlier senses: the forced smile induced by ‘saying cheese’ when photographed, and the later use meaning ‘hackneyed, sentimental’.
     

    TheAmzngTwinWndr

    Senior Member
    United States
    Hmm, I guess this is an example how meanings of words change from area to area. In the US, we would call something someone said (like a bad pick-up line) or did cheesy, but not the person himself. Apparently in England people are also refered to as cheesy. Is it also used to describe stuff people say or do?
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks jaxlarus, se16teddy, TheAmazingTwinWndr, and Panj. The next time I get across the pond, I'll know just what a cheesy person is!

    Jaxlarus, now I can't get the cheesy song from Titanic out of my mind, but thanks anyway!:D
     

    El Sicario

    Member
    Colombia - Spanish
    Cheesy is actually not a very common word that is used (in Australia anyway).
    Hi, there, sofia11!

    This is maybe sort of off topic, but I'm from South America and always wondered whether there were any dictionaries that you knew of, which pointed out the different words used in British and Australian English. I've only learnt of some idioms and different ways of spelling words, but I wasn't able to find much more than that, crikey!

    Aussies rule!:D

    Edit: Wouldn't "cheesy" be like "corny"?
     
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