cheek


cheek
cheek (n.) O.E. ceace, cece "jaw, jawbone," also "the fleshy wall of the mouth." Perhaps from the root of O.E. ceowan "chew" (see CHEW (Cf. chew)), or from P.Gmc. *kaukon (Cf. M.L.G. kake "jaw, jawbone," M.Du. kake "jaw," Du. kaak), not found outside West Germanic. Words for "cheek," "jaw," and "chin" tend to run together in IE languages (Cf. PIE *genw-, source of Gk. genus "jaw, cheek," geneion "chin," and English CHIN (Cf. chin)); Aristotle considered the chin as the front of the "jaws" and the cheeks as the back of them. The other Old English word for "cheek" was ceafl (see JOWL (Cf. jowl)).
A thousand men he [Samson] slow eek with his hond,
And had no wepen but an asses cheek.
[Chaucer, "Monk's Tale"]
Sense of "insolence" is from 1840, perhaps from a notion akin to that which led to jaw "insolent speech," mouth off, etc. To turn the other cheek is an allusion to Matt. v:39 and Luke vi:29.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Cheek — (ch[=e]k), n. [OE. cheke, cheoke, AS. ce[ a]ce, ce[ o]ce; cf. Goth. kukjan to kiss, D. kaak cheek; perh. akin to E. chew, jaw.] 1. The side of the face below the eye. [1913 Webster] 2. The cheek bone. [Obs.] Caucer. [1913 Webster] 3. pl. (Mech.)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cheek — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Chris Cheek (* 1968), US amerikanischer Jazz Saxofonist James Richard Cheek, US amerikanischer Diplomat Joey Cheek (* 1979), US amerikanischer Eisschnellläufer Tom Cheek (1939–2005), US amerikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cheek — cheek; cheek·er; cheek·i·ly; cheek·i·ness; cheek·less; …   English syllables

  • cheek — ► NOUN 1) either side of the face below the eye. 2) either of the buttocks. 3) impertinence; audacity. ► VERB ▪ speak impertinently to. ● cheek by jowl Cf. ↑cheek by jowl …   English terms dictionary

  • cheek´i|ly — cheek|y «CHEE kee», adjective, cheek|i|er, cheek|i|est. 1. Informal. saucy; impudent; audacious: »A gentleman as rich as Croesus …   Useful english dictionary

  • cheek|y — «CHEE kee», adjective, cheek|i|er, cheek|i|est. 1. Informal. saucy; impudent; audacious: »A gentleman as rich as Croesus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cheek — (ch[=e]k), v. t. To be impudent or saucy to. [Slang.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cheek — [n1] side of human face chop*, choppers*, gill, jowl; concept 418 cheek [n2] audacity, boldness brashness, brass*, brazenness, chutzpah*, confidence, disrespect, effrontery, gall, impertinence, impudence, insolence, lip*, nerve*, presumption,… …   New thesaurus

  • cheek — [chēk] n. [ME cheke < OE ceoke, jaw, jawbone; akin to Du kaak, LowG kâke, jaw (only WGmc)] 1. either side of the face between the nose and ear, below the eye 2. either of two sides of a thing, as the sides of a door jamb or the jaws of a vise… …   English World dictionary


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