From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Packers fan wearing a "cheesehead" hat

Cheesehead is a nickname in the United States for a person from Wisconsin[1] or for a fan of the Green Bay Packers NFL football franchise.

Current usage[edit]

Wisconsin is associated with cheese because the state historically produced more dairy products than other American states, giving it the nickname "America's Dairyland."[2] The use of the term "cheesehead" as a derogatory word for Wisconsinites originated with Illinois football and baseball fans to refer to opposing Wisconsin sports fans. The term, however, was quickly embraced by Wisconsinites and is now a point of pride.[3]

Cheesehead hat[edit]

Rose Bruno first saw a cardboard "cheesehead" hat at a Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox game in Chicago in 1987 worn by fellow Milwaukeean Amerik Wojciechowski.[4][5] Ralph Bruno later made the first one out of foam while he was cutting up his mother's couch. It was made popular by center-fielder Rick Manning, who saw the hat while playing.[6][7] Bruno started a business to sell the hats as novelties. The "Cheesehead" trademark is owned by Foamation, Inc. of St. Francis, Wisconsin, which began manufacture of the wearable, foam "Cheesehead" in 1987.[8] It has also been referred to as a "Cheese Hat" since it is legally a hat.[9]

In 2013, sports fans of Chicago replied to their rivals by wearing cheese graters.[10]

Other origins[edit]

  • kaaskop, Dutch for "Cheesehead", is used as a slanderous term towards Dutch people. The use started as early as World War II, when German soldiers were known to call the Dutch "cheeseheads".[11]
  • The term "cheesehead" was used in a derogatory manner in the 1969 novel Papillon to describe the French jury that sentenced Papillon to life in prison.[12][13]


  1. ^ Kapler, Joseph, Jr. "On Wisconsin Icons: When You Say 'Wisconsin', What Do You Say?" Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 85, no. 3 (Spring 2002), pp. 18-31.
  2. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan; Alexander, Gerard L. (1979). Nicknames and sobriquets of U.S. cities, States, and counties. Scarecrow Press. p. 412. ISBN 9780810812550. Wisconsin – America's Dairyland, The Badger State ... The Copper State ...
  3. ^ Foamation: About Us, archived from the original on 2009-03-02.
  4. ^ Foamation, Inc. v. Wedeward Enterprises, Inc., 947 F.Supp. 1287 (E.D. Wis. 1996)
  5. ^ Cigelske, Tim (September 8, 2005), "When I was 30: Michael Bednar: Cheeseheads were spreading", MKE, archived from the original on August 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "Greg Garber News, Videos, Photos, and PodCasts - ESPN".
  7. ^ "State honors cheesehead hat creator".
  8. ^ "Trademark Serial Number 75106687". U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 1996-05-20. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  9. ^ Prunty, Brendan (January 19, 2008), "The Origin of the 'Cheesehead'", The Star-Ledger.
  10. ^ Cheddar shredder - Chicago Tribune, 26 December 2013
  11. ^ "What is a Cheesehead?". Wise Geek. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  12. ^ Prescott, Peter (October 2005), Encounters with American Culture (1963-1972), Transaction Publishers, p. 218, ISBN 1-4128-0496-5. "... and the stupiditiy of a dozen "cheesehead" jurors who couldn't care less."
  13. ^ Charrière, Henri (26 June 2001). Papillon. France: Hart-Davis, MacGibbon Ltd. p. 3. ISBN 0-06-093479-4. "Look at them, there in front of you. Can you see them clearly, those dozen cheeseheads brought to Paris from some distant village?"