chalk and cheese

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English[edit]

Some cheeses look superficially like chalk.
The surface of chalk may look like cheese, but it is actually harder than most cheeses.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Attested in variant form since 1393. The surface of some cheeses, particularly unaged ones, looks similar to chalk – white, crumbling – but in substance cheese is much softer than chalk.

Noun[edit]

chalk and cheese (uncountable)

  1. (Britain, New Zealand, idiomatic) Said of things that are superficially alike but very different in substance.

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