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November 21, 2019

An ad from Just Eat has just arrived in my inbox, which uses the word cheeky three times in about 30 words of text: First, Brandon, feeling a cheeky 20% off your favourite meal? And then: You can get a cheeky Tuesday deal, this Tuesday, next Tuesday, every Tuesday: and, most annoyingly and impertinently of all, You stay cheeky Brandon.

Stay cheeky? How can I stay something I’m not in the first place? I was cheeky when I was about nine, I suppose, but I’m glad to say I’m not any more. It wouldn’t be appropriate for a 58-year-old man to be cheeky.

Where does this association with takeaways and cheekiness come from? How about a cheeky Nando’s? has become a familiar saying. What’s cheeky about eating salty greasy food? It can be pleasurable, I concede, but I don’t see why it’s cheeky. I suppose the idea is that there is something a bit naughty and irresponsible about it. Like nipping out for a crafty fag.

Hmm. Must admit I quite fancy a takeaway now…

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  1. Deborah Smith permalink

    This drives me insane! “Just out for a cheeky Costa” (other brands available, and still “cheeky!”), having a cheeky takeaway later, etc., etc. It’s just a Costa or a takeaway for heavens’sake xx

  2. Craig permalink

    I have to admit that ad would wind me up too!

    Sometimes when we refer to a takeaway we use the would dirty, for example “how about a dirty burger” (only applies to the takeaway variety). I don’t really know why we do this other than to acknowledge that it is not healthy behaviour and should only be done occassionally.

  3. Craig permalink

    I just read back what I wrote and made myself smile.

    “I have to admit”. I don’t HAVE to admit anything, “I admit” would be more correct. Why do I and lots of others use these unnecessary phrases?

    I think I’ve read to many of your blogs Brandon!!

  4. John Dunn permalink

    As far as I can make out, cheeky, as used in the Just Eat advert is an adjective with no meaning whatsoever, which (N.B.) is most odd. I suspect that the first uses of cheeky to describe an object, rather than a person, occur in the some of the more extravagant descriptions of wine.

    And you are all too young to remember a BBC radio comedy from the end of the 1960s called ‘Hello, Cheeky’ (with, if I remember rightly, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer and John Junkin). It occasionally resurfaces on Radio 4Extra.

  5. Simon Carter permalink

    Unfortunately not too young! I remember a sketch with a policeman speaking to a superintendent.
    “Morning Super”
    “Hello Wonderful”
    Shades of Julian & Sandy.

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