There are many theories about the origin of the phrase “grinning like a Cheshire Cat”. The residents of the county of Cheshire, which is famous for its many dairy farms, insist that their cats grin because of the profusion of milk and cream there. According to Brewer’s Dictionary (1870), “The phrase has never been satisfactorily accounted for, but it has been said that cheese was formerly sold in Cheshire moulded like a cat that looked as though it was grinning”. The cheese was cut from the tail end, so that the last part eaten was the head of the smiling cat. Another candidate is the British Shorthair itself. The Cat Fanciers’ Association description of the breed reads: “When gracelessness is observed, the British Shorthair is duly embarrassed, quickly recovering with a ‘Cheshire cat smile’”.
Today, the Cheshire cat has escaped the confines of literature and become intertwined with popular culture. The Cheshire cat has been depicted or used as a metaphor by numerous creators of film, television, video games, literature, comics, art, music, business, and science. For example, a merger of galaxy groups in the constellation Ursa Major is nicknamed “Cheshire Cat galaxy group” by Astronomers due to its suggestive appearance.
Electra has selected the following artistic examples to keep that smile on your face.
This is an open thread.
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PWBPeeps is a group that posts a daily diary and nightly open thread for animal lovers. We share photos, seek & give advice about pet health and behavior issues, support each other in times of sadness and stress, celebrate together when times are good, and on most days have an inordinate amount of fun.
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