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For the screw head shape, see Cheese head (screw).
A cheesehead hat, commonly worn by Packer fans

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 American Football team of the National Football League. The term is also used as a racial slur towards the Dutch.[2][3][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[edit]

WWII German soldiers were known to call the Dutch "cheeseheads".[3]

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[edit]

The original display of a "cheesehead" hat was at a Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox game in 1987.[8] It was handmade by Ralph Bruno 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.[9] 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.[10]


  1. ^ Kapler, Joseph, Jr. "On Wisconsin Icons: When You Say 'Wisconsin', What Do You Say?" Wisconsin History Spring 2002; pp. 18-31
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ By Pat Goodheart, "Canto, Volume 3", p. 1
  5. ^ Foamation: About Us .
  6. ^ Prescott, Peter, Encounters with American Culture (1963-1972), Transaction Publishers, p. 210, ISBN 1-4128-0496-5 . "... and the stupiditiy of a dozen "cheesehead" jurors who couldn't care less."
  7. ^ Charrière, Henri. Papillion. 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?"
  8. ^ Cigelske, Tim (September 8, 2005), "When I was 30: Ralph Bruno: Cheeseheads were spreading", MKE .
  9. ^ Greg Garber (February 3, 2011) "All that, with cheese on top", ESPN
  10. ^ Prunty, Brendan (January 19, 2008), "The Origin of the 'Cheesehead'", The Star-Ledger .

External links[edit]