English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A new girl started at the office, and she's quite a peculiar character. She moved here from Alabama and is definitely the excitable type. Every office has one I guess.

One thing she says every now and then is cheese and rice. Like, I'll ask her a question about something, and she'll reply, "Oh, cheese and rice, I don't know!"

A quick Google search turned up nothing but casserole recipes. Does "cheese and rice" mean anything? Is this something I just attribute to her strange perkiness, or is this just a Southern thing?

share|improve this question
Why not ask her instead of this site? ;) – user730 Dec 13 '10 at 23:58
maybe she has deeply suppressed emotional issues, which would make sense given her overly exuberant outer personality, and she (by now completely subconsciously) turns any thought she deems bad or unwholesome into a random gibberish phrase, such as cheese and rice. Flanders on the Simpsons went through the exact same thing. You should try to get her angry and see if she explodes. – Claudiu Dec 14 '10 at 0:07
What does hyper/spastic mean in this context? – Benjol Dec 14 '10 at 5:50
@JM, OK, because in the UK spastic is definitely not politically correct! – Benjol Dec 14 '10 at 8:11
Gor blimey! Surely this one is "too localised"? – FumbleFingers Dec 21 '11 at 0:16
up vote 33 down vote accepted

I've never heard this phrase before, and I don't know if it's prevalent in Alabama. However, I suspect that it's a taboo deformation of Jesus Christ, albeit a more colorful and idiosyncratic one than the most common variants.

share|improve this answer
For a piece of speculation, this is pretty darn good. :) – user730 Dec 14 '10 at 0:26
I have definitely heard this before, and it one of the many ways people avoid saying "Jesus Christ" because it is blasphemous. See also: "God bless it!" – Kosmonaut Dec 14 '10 at 0:51
+1: I thought of Jesus Christ right off as well. – Robusto Dec 14 '10 at 2:14
That was my first guess as well. I've also heard the expression "cheese 'n biscuits" or "cheese 'n crackers" used in this context. It's all about the cheese .... :) – Will Dec 14 '10 at 16:20
Wow - that makes perfect sense. She says "gosh darnit" a lot, too. – JJ Caldwell Dec 15 '10 at 0:50

This is a less offensive way of saying Jesus Christ per the urban dictionary.

share|improve this answer

One of the DVD extras for the 2007 film Hot Fuzz is a "contractual airline version" where all swearwords have been replaced with clean euphemisms. It includes replacing "Jesus Christ!" with "Cheese and rice!", such as in:

"Cheese and rice, Mother Hubbard!

The very first definition in Urban Dictionary shows this had been done before:

1. cheese and rice
This is a less offensive way of saying "Jesus Christ"

It originated with the [1998] movie 'The Faculty'. In the real version, one of the characters exclaimed "Jesus Christ!" but in the edited TV version, they had it changed to "Cheese and rice!"

Guy #1: Aliens landed on Earth!
Guy #2: Cheese and rice!

by crowdish Nov 15, 2003

share|improve this answer

protected by RegDwigнt Aug 13 '12 at 15:33

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.