After a year of online voting, The American Heritage Dictionary of American Usage won first place in a national competition held by The American Cheese Society.
The dictionary’s entry for the term “ham and cheese” has been winning the most votes since January.
According to the dictionary, the term refers to a kind of cheeseburger, which is grilled on the grill or over a fire, and served with either ham or a sauce of choice.
The entry says that in the late 1700s, the word originated in the United States, where it was used in reference to “an old fashioned dish of pork, cheese, and other meats.”
While there are several references to ham and cheese in English literature, the entry says the term was originally used in the U.S. as a general term to refer to a variety of foods that are cooked to a low heat, and then grilled.
The entry also notes that in England, the phrase was popularized by Henry VIII in the 17th century, but the meaning of the term remained largely unknown until the mid-1800s, when English historian J.W. Dyson published a book about it in 1833.
Dyson’s book, A Study of the English Language and Literature, included several references of ham and, in particular, Ham and Cheese.
“It has often been thought of as the food of choice for the king,” the entry states.
“The fact that the word has acquired the most frequent usage in the English language suggests that the English king was a very serious and conscientious eater, and that he enjoyed eating Ham and cheese as well as a fine beef steak.”
The entry also states that the term derives from the Germanic words ham and “cheese.”
The dictionary, a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and publish the American Heritage, was awarded the $5,000 prize by the American Cheese Association.
It will now have to submit the final edit before it is accepted for publication.
The American Heritage is also working on its fourth edition of the dictionary.
The fifth edition was published in 2008, and its latest edition, published in May 2018, was named by The Washington Post as one of the 100 most influential dictionaries of the 20th century.