Just last week the ever popular Rosewood honeycomb was harvested for 2019 …. and it is now available here at La Jolie! Exquisite with cheese (and anything else), it is one of our most anticipated and requested ancillary items. Awaiting the arrival, my mind is on anything ‘bees’ so I had to smile when I heard someone use the term “bees knees” to describe a cheese. At the same time I was left wondering where this phrase came from…
Oxford Dictionary notes that it first appeared in the late 18th century when it was used in context to mean something “very small or insignificant”.
The next reference appeared in 1917 in an issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Examining why the social elite did not attend the theater, the author suggested sarcastically that it was not considered dignified to line up in formal attire after dining on “bees knees and other rarities”.
By the 1920’s “bees knees” became a trendy phrase used first by flappers and jazz enthusiasts to describe something “delightful or of very high quality”. And so it has remained…the same meaning as we use today.
“Bees knees” is indeed a perfect way to describe something outstanding. It’s on those little knees that the pollen is carried to the hive where it is transformed into the magic we know as ‘honey’. And that, my friend, is simply the ‘cat’s pyjamas’ 🙂