whine and cheese

  • Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    In order to say, I would need a lot more context. My guess is that it's a sort of pun on "wine and cheese," which, obviously, is a common thing to serve at a gathering. Without more context, I really can't say.
     

    mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Yes, it's sarcastic. If someone is whining a lot and won't shut up, you sarcastically ask them if they'd like some cheese with their "whine". It's a not-too-subtle hint that they should quit complaining.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I believe more specifically (without context it is difficult) that it would refer more than likely to something akin to a 12-step meeting and it is derogatory...

    Example: The drunk says, "My wife has gone to her weekly whine and cheese party", referring to the fact that she has gone to her weekly Al-Anon meeting, where she will whine about his excessive drinking and socialize with her pals who will in turn whine about their husbands' excessive drinking.

    Edited to add: This, I might add would be the perspective of the one who felt they were the one being "whined" about and is not entirely indicative of what actually goes on at such meetings at all. Al-Anon meetings are supportive meetings where loved ones of alcoholics share tools and ideas to help themselves to heal from the pain of loving someone who is hell-bent on destroying themselves. They very often discuss how the Al-Anon member is feeling without regards whatsoever to the alcoholic... regardless of how the alcoholic might feel.
     
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    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    While pepper's interpretation might be true in some circumstances, I'm almost positive it does not apply to these examples...
    I disagree wholeheartedly... Mind you, I need to ask... without any context to the contrary, why do you say that?
     

    mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    I meant only in reference to vocesolitaria's explicit examples that I quoted above:) To me, those are sarcastic responses to someone who is incessantly whining.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    And I will reiterate, it refers specifically to the same context as those examples.

    If you are whining you are complaining. If you are at a whine and cheese, you are at a meeting where a group of people are all complaining and most often it would be a derogatory description of the meeting by the one who believes that he (or she) is one of the ones about whom the complaining is being done OR it is a reference by someone who does not understand such groups to what goes on at such a meeting.

    It would/could also be used to refer to a group get-together of people who have a common complaint... A condo cooperative getting together to complain about the state of the lawns, or a businessmen's association meeting to discuss the difficulty that their businesses have in dealing with city hall... etc.

    It is sarcasm at it's finest.

    (Please before anyone else emails me on the use of Al-Anon in my example, scroll up and reread my example of a "whine and cheese".)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I have never heard "at a whine and cheese" before. I have only heard it used in the way vocesolitaria laid out. I have found 6 examples in a Google search of "at a whine and cheese", so I can accept that it does exist but I'd say it is exceedingly rare. "Some cheese with that whine", for example, reports 63,700 hits.

    "At a whine and cheese" is not something I have ever heard before, while I have heard vocesolitaria's examples hundreds of times.
     
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    Full Tilt Boogie

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is a specifically sarcastic comment: the pun is in the spelling of 'whine', which, in normal context, would be spelt 'wine' (as in the drink).

    The allusion being that social gathering known as a 'cheese and wine party'.
     
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    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I agree with the majority... it doesn't need to be a group. If one person and I are talking and that one person is doing a lot of griping, I would simply say "Would you like some cheese with that whine?" No need for a group effort. I've never heard Pepperfire's understanding of it to be a meeting of whiners.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I would suggest that you have not been on the receiving end of the derisive comment by the drunk who thinks that your attendance of Alanon meetings are solely designed to stop his drinking.

    "Would you like some cheese with that whine", is a common enough expression that I have used it with my children whining about some minor complaint or other but it does not have the same meaning as a "whine and cheese", although I have no doubt that historically, "whine and cheese" is a direct result of the expression "would you like some cheese with that whine" or the inverse might be the case, making the two related.

    The first describes a meeting of complainers, the second simply means in a playful way, "stop whining".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The first describes a meeting of complainers, the second simply means in a playful way, "stop whining".
    I agree that the first could be used to describe a meeting a complainers but is not in common use, as far as I can tell. It is a clever play on the more common phrase "some cheese with that whine."

    I think it is important to be accurate both in the meaning and the degree of use of any phrase, especially when a non-native is posing the question. There are many phrases that are easily understood and immediately communicate a clever idea. That doesn't make them common phrases. In fact, the best writer, in my opinion, is one who can coin a phrase like "whine and cheese" that is easily understood but distiinctively uncommon.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I agree that the first could be used to describe a meeting a complainers but is not in common use, as far as I can tell. It is a clever play on the more common phrase "some cheese with that whine."

    I think it is important to be accurate both in the meaning and the degree of use of any phrase, especially when a non-native is posing the question. There are many phrases that are easily understood and immediately communicate a clever idea. That doesn't make them common phrases. In fact, the best writer, in my opinion, is one who can coin a phrase like "whine and cheese" that is easily understood but distiinctively uncommon.
    I believe that we will have to agree to disagree about the whether or not "whine and cheese" has common usage, since it is clear that I certainly have heard its usage many times and you have not.

    I will add that I have learned many words and expressions since joining this forum. I believe that you have just learned a new one. Don't you just love this place. :D
     

    WestSideGal

    Senior Member
    English, US
    I agree that the first could be used to describe a meeting a complainers but is not in common use, as far as I can tell. It is a clever play on the more common phrase "some cheese with that whine." :tick::tick:

    I think it is important to be accurate both in the meaning and the degree of use of any phrase, especially when a non-native is posing the question. There are many phrases that are easily understood and immediately communicate a clever idea. That doesn't make them common phrases. In fact, the best writer, in my opinion, is one who can coin a phrase like "whine and cheese" that is easily understood but distiinctively uncommon.
    :);)
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The first describes a meeting of complainers, the second simply means in a playful way, "stop whining".
    I simply wonder how one conveys the intended pun when using it in the collective manner that you describe. If I say that I was at a whine and cheese in my condo building, don't I then have to go on and explain the "whine" part? I could see your audience thinking that you meant a "wine and cheese".

    Certainly, I can see the drunk referring to an Alanon meeting as a "whine and cheese" but it is probably that rather limited context that has prevented most of us from ever hearing "at a whine and cheese".
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I simply wonder how one conveys the intended pun when using it in the collective manner that you describe. If I say that I was at a whine and cheese in my condo building, don't I then have to go on and explain the "whine" part? I could see your audience thinking that you meant a "wine and cheese".

    Certainly, I can see the drunk referring to an Alanon meeting as a "whine and cheese" but it is probably that rather limited context that has prevented most of us from ever hearing "at a whine and cheese".
    Obviously, it is a given that the context of the usage of the statement that the original poster is asking about would necessarily give rise to the fact that you NOR I would guess that "wine and cheese" is what was meant, why? because as noted in the responses, nobody felt that "whine" was a typo...

    If it were stated, clarification would be required, written out, it strikes me as quite obvious. The only ambiguity for me in the expression would be the subject of the whining.

    But, my personal history with Al-Anon aside, the fact that I know exactly what the poster was referring to makes it common enough.

    Perhaps one needs to be connected to Al-Anon or AA or some other 12-Step group for it to be common, which would make it colloquial.

    Either way, I'm dying to learn where the poster found it.

    Edited to add: AA was founded in 1934, and Al-Anon was founded in 1935. Since then millions of people have become members... I consider it highly likely that amongst such large circles of people certain colloquialisms would be quite common and this may indeed be one of them.
     
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    JamesM

    Senior Member
    But, my personal history with Al-Anon aside, the fact that I know exactly what the poster was referring to makes it common enough
    I believe this is a false assumption, as I and many others have learned over time here, for two reasons:

    First, comprehensibility does not directly correspond to common usage.
    Second, our personal experience is not a good standard by which to measure how common an expression is.

    It is by no means personal. I often question a broad statement of something being a common expression if I can find no evidence for it. It is one of the new skills WRF has taught me, to test my personal experience (or the personal experience of others) against some outside resource when it comes to impressions of how common something is.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I don't care to argue about it... A google of the expression "whine and cheese" brings 142,000 hits and "whine and cheese party" brings 60,400 hits.

    It sounds common enough to me.

    The fact that I know it through colloquial usage does not detract from nor negate its meaning.
     

    vocesolitaria

    New Member
    Italian
    You won't believe where I have found the expression...
    I was trying to solve a crossword puzzle, and I have found this clue:
    Want some cheese with that _____ ?
    Since I didn't have any idea, I asked for the solution and it was "whine".
    I have searched with Google for cheese and whine, and I have found a number of links to discussion forums where "want some cheese with that whine" was just the title of the forum, but the subject of the discussion was something else.
    I had the impression that, as stated by mtmjr, it was an expression that could be used to invite somebody complaining too much to quit, but I couldn't find a clear explanation.
    Thanks to all for your contribution... I had no idea to start such an interesting discussion....
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    You won't believe where I have found the expression...
    I was trying to solve a crossword puzzle, and I have found this clue:
    Want some cheese with that _____ ?
    Since I didn't have any idea, I asked for the solution and it was "whine".
    I have searched with Google for cheese and whine, and I have found a number of links to discussion forums where "want some cheese with that whine" was just the title of the forum, but the subject of the discussion was something else.
    I had the impression that, as stated by mtmjr, it was an expression that could be used to invite somebody complaining too much to quit, but I couldn't find a clear explanation.
    Thanks to all for your contribution... I had no idea to start such an interesting discussion....
    Fascinating... well anyone looking for the meaning of either expression in future shall have the generous benefit of both meanings... I believe the differences between the two are clear to you?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I don't care to argue about it... A google of the expression "whine and cheese" brings 142,000 hits and "whine and cheese party" brings 60,400 hits.

    It sounds common enough to me.

    The fact that I know it through colloquial usage does not detract from nor negate its meaning.
    With all due respect, Pepperfire, I suspect that when you searched "Google", you found 64,000 hits for the words "whine" and "cheese" and "party". If I Google the phrase "whine and cheese party", I only get 2,070 hits. When I remove the word "dog" from those 2,070 hits (apparently doggie owners get together with their canines for "whine and cheese parties"!), I wind up with 1,580 hits.

    When I Google the phrase "at a whine and cheese party", I come up with 1 hit, this one referring to what to give dogs as party favours.

    When I Google the phrase "to a whine and cheese party", I come up with 4 hits.

    As a result, it appears that, far from being common (at least on the 'Net), "whine and cheese party" is actually very rare.

    Having said this, it is no reflection on your knowledge of the use of the phrase in your world. It is just not at all common outside of your experience.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's a common misunderstanding when using Google.
    To search for a phrase it needs to be placed in "", as in this search:
    Results 1 - 10 of about 2,040 for "whine and cheese party"

    Removing the quotes, and so searching for links that include the words in any location or combination.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 61,900 for whine and cheese party.

    The variations between these results and others above using the same criteria are normal and not significant.
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    With all due respect, 1 response is uncommon, 2,040 on the internet, would give it common occurrence, if not colloquialism.

    Regardless, the fact of the matter is that if I am aware of the meaning of whine and cheese in combination as was written in the original question, even if the poster superimposed them to be a phrase rather than two separate words as in the quotation "would you like some cheese with that whine", then there must be commonality to it, I am certainly not THAT well read.

    I suggest it is a matter on which Dimcl and I will have to disagree.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    With all due respect, 1 response is uncommon, 2,040 on the internet, would give it common occurrence, if not colloquialism.


    I suggest it is a matter on which Dimcl and I will have to disagree.
    I agree with Dimcl on 2,040 not being an indicator of common usage. As a lark I checked for "squid lips", two random words that came to mind, and I got 5,430 hits. I would not use that alone to tell me that "squid lips" is a common phrase in English, let alone that "squid lips" is more than twice as common as "whine and cheese". I think both conclusions would be unfounded.

    To be considered common, I would look for over 50,000 hits at a minimum. I would also like to see an entry in a dictionary of idioms. Failing that, I would look for sprinkled usage in blogs, articles, and transcripts as well as printed matter.

    Ah, I don't know what "google" you're using, but I'm surprised you didn't find the Smash Brothers game of the same name: [URL]http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/02/the-smash-bros.html[/URL]
    Per the article, the name of the game is "Super Smash Brothers Brawl" (a game my son dearly loves). The "whine and cheese party" was a get-together of friends to play the game upon its release. There is no game named "Super Smash Brothers Whine and Cheese."
     
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