What Does Cheese Off Mean?

Cheese Someone Off Meaning

Definition: To anger someone.

The phrase to cheese someone off means to make someone angry. This phrase is considered a more appropriate alternative to the similar English phrase piss someone off. It is more commonly used in British English, although it is occasionally used in American English as well.

Origin of and Ways to Use Cheese Off

Meaning of cheese offThe etymology of this phrase is unknown. However, it is speculated that it was first used in 1942. It is considered British English.

Cheese off is an idiomatic phrasal verb in English. As such, it cannot be used in a literal context because it wouldn’t make sense. By itself, cheese cannot be a verb.

There are two main ways to use this phrase. One can cheese someone else off, or one can describe oneself as cheesed off.

For example, if Mabel is telling Thelma about a bee that stung her while she was gardening, she might say,

I was cheesed off when that bee stung me.

Cheese me off is a more family-friendly way of saying piss me off, which also means to become angry.

Examples of Cheese Someone Off

Define cheese offCheese me off is used less frequently than piss me off, but the former is considered more acceptable and polite than the latter. This example conversation between two coworkers illustrates the correct use of this idiom.

Brandi: Did you hear that Julie didn’t come in to work this morning?

Lauren: That really cheeses me off! The boss wouldn’t even let me have my son’s birthday off work, but Julie can still keep her job even if she doesn’t show up!

More Examples

  • This museum would be dedicated to things that really cheese me off, to put it in language that a family newspaper will tolerate. – LA Times
  • Bad manners and rudeness really cheese me off, and that poster was rude in the extreme. – Washington Post


The English phrase to cheese someone off means to make someone angry. It is common in both American and British English, being slightly more common in the latter.