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grin like a Cheshire cat


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grin like a Cheshire cat

  1. (idiomatic) To smile broadly, especially in a self-satisfied way.
    • 1788, Grose, Francis, A classical dictionary of the vulgar tongue, Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged edition, London:
      CHESHIRE CAT. He grins like a Cheshire cat; said of any one who shows his teeth and gums in laughing.
    • 1792, John Wolcot (under the pseudonym Peter Pindar), Pair of Lyric Epistles:
      Lo, like a Cheshire cat our court will grin.
    • 1865 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
      “Please would you tell me,“ said Alice, a little timidly, for she was not quite sure whether it was good manners for her to speak first, “why your cat grins like that?“ “It’s a Cheshire-Cat,“ said the Duchess, “and that’s why.“
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, ISBN 0 340 19547 9, page 127:
      ‘It’s almost as if we’ve gone silly with happiness,’ said Marcus two days later. ‘Everyone in the house going round grinning like a lot of Cheshire Cats! The family I mean.’ ‘And Jess,’ said Kitto quickly. ‘Oh well, Jess is as good as family,’ said Fanny comfortably. Jessamy said nothing, but she looked up quickly and her smile would have rivalled any Cheshire Cat.
    John ended the set with a beautiful serve, an ace, and could not help grinning like a Cheshire cat.