etymology of what a dish O'Conner & Kellerman
Both “dish” and “toothsome,” terms for good things to eat, have been applied to sexy people.
From ~ 700 AD (tooth) to the Middle Ages until well into the 19th
century, the expression “to (or for) one’s tooth” meant to one’s
taste or liking, according to the Oxford English Dictionary
“Toothsome” is used to describe an attractive woman. What is the
origin of this usage? Is there some connection to calling someone “a
and the end of the article ...
Shakespeare may have been the first to use “dish” in this figurative
way, in reference to sexy Cleopatra: “He will to his Egyptian dish
againe.” (From Antony and Cleopatry, 1606.)
But this was probably just a passing metaphorical use. It wasn’t until
the 1920s that “dish” came to be used this way in general English.
The earliest modern example in the Random House Historical Dictionary
of American Slang is from Variety, that fountainhead of American
slang: “She ought to be a swell-looking’ dish in tights” (Nov. 25,