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Cheesehead is a nickname referring to a person from Wisconsin,[1] referring to the large volume of production of Wisconsin cheese. It is also the nickname for the fans of the Green Bay Packers NFL football franchise. The term is also used as an ethnic slur towards the Dutch.[2][3][4]


  • Origins 1
    • Prior usage 1.1
  • The Cheesehead Hat 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The current 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.[5]

Prior usage

WWII German soldiers were known to call the Dutch "cheeseheads".

The term "cheesehead" was also used in a derogatory manner in the 1969 novel Papillon to describe the jury that sentenced Papillon to life in prison.[6][7]

The Cheesehead Hat

A Packers fan wearing a "cheesehead" hat

Ralph 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.[8][9] 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.[10][11] 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. It has also been referred to as a "Cheese Hat" since it is legally a hat.[12]

In 2013, sports fans of Chicago replied to their rivals by wearing cheese graters.[13]


  1. ^ Kapler, Joseph, Jr. "On Wisconsin Icons: When You Say 'Wisconsin', What Do You Say?" Wisconsin History Spring 2002; pp. 18-31
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ By Pat Goodheart, "Canto, Volume 3", p. 1
  5. ^ Foamation: About Us .
  6. ^ Prescott, Peter, Encounters with American Culture (1963-1972),  . "... and the stupiditiy of a dozen "cheesehead" jurors who couldn't care less."
  7. ^ Charrière, Henri.   "Look at them, there in front of you. Can you see them clearly, those dozen cheeseheads brought to Paris from some distant village?"
  8. ^ Foamation, Inc. v. Wedeward Enterprises, Inc., 947 F.Supp. 1287 (E.D. Wis. 1996)
  9. ^ Cigelske, Tim (September 8, 2005), "When I was 30: Michael Bednar: Cheeseheads were spreading",  .
  10. ^ Greg Garber (February 3, 2011) "All that, with cheese on top", ESPN
  11. ^
  12. ^ Prunty, Brendan (January 19, 2008), "'"The Origin of the 'Cheesehead,  .
  13. ^ Cheddar shredder - Chicago Tribune, 26 December 2013

External links

  • Foamation Inc.
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