as different as chalk and cheese

as different as chalk and cheese

Meaning

  • for two things to be completely different from each other
  • to have nothing in common with someone or something else
  • to lack similarity when compared with someone or something

Example Sentences

  1. Despite James and John being identical twins, their characters were as different as chalk and cheese.
  2. What he does in public and how in acts in private are as different as chalk and cheese.
  3. Aside their names, the two teachers had nothing in common and could be said to be as different as chalk and cheese.
  4. England in the Summer and England in the Winter are as different as chalk and cheese.
  5. It's safe to say that Lisa's night job and her day job are as different as chalk and cheese.

Origin

This phrase originated in the 13th century in the United Kingdom. There was a shopkeeper who often adulterated his goods just to make some profit. So sometimes, he swapped cheese for chalk, thus saving some cheese for himself and no one would be the wiser. However, people caught on with time and therefore the phrase originated to highlight the difference between both products i.e. cheese and chalk.

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