1. something worthless or insignificant;
2. miserly economizing.

1. “My wants were few, and I had no more desire for personal spending than had Ambrose, in his time, but this cheeseparing on the part of my godfather induced in me a sort of fury that made me determined to have my way and use the money that was mine.” — From Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel My Cousin Rachel.
2. “While many charities have undergone painful downsizing, they fear that their operating model won’t survive the relentless cheeseparing the government is indulging in.” — From an article by Randeep Ramesh in The Guardian (London), May 15, 2013.

Those familiar with William Shakespeare’s history play Henry IV may recall how the portly Falstaff remembered the thin Justice Shallow “like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring.” Falstaff’s unusual food simile is one not easily forgotten, and people began to associate “cheese-parings” (bits of cheese trimmed off a larger portion) with other things of little significance and value. In the 19th century, the meaning of “cheeseparing” was extended to “miserly economizing.” (Presumably, the practice of paring off the rind so as to waste the minimum of cheese was viewed as an excessive form of frugality.)


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