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Ripened lillies steept in wine
    —Robert Greene
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks
    —William Shakespeare

The cheeks (Latin: buccae) constitute the area of the face below the eyes and between the nose and the left or right ear. 'Buccal' means relating to the cheek. In humans, the region is innervated by the buccal nerve. The area between the inside of the cheek and the teeth and gums is called the vestibule or buccal pouch or buccal cavity and forms part of the mouth. In other animals the cheeks may also be referred to as 'jowls'.


  • Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, ...
  • His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: ...
    • Song of Songs, 1:10; 5:13 (KJV)
  • Love, ... who keepest thy vigil on the soft cheek of a maiden;
    • Sophocles, Antigone, Chorus 4, strophe 1
    • R. C. Jebb, tr., Sophocles, III (1893), p. 144
  • Señor Don Quixote, have you observed the comeliness of my lady the duchess, that smooth complexion of hers like a burnished polished sword, those two cheeks of milk and carmine, that gay lively step with which she treads or rather seems to spurn the earth, so that one would fancy she went radiating health wherever she passed?
  • Then virtue claims from beauty beauty’s red,
    Which virtue gave the golden age to gild
    Their silver cheeks, and call’d it then their shield;
      Teaching them thus to use it in the fight,
      When shame assail’d, the red should fence the white.
  • Poor Lucrece’ cheeks unto her maid seem so
    As winter meads when sun doth melt their snow.
  • Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so
      That blushing red no guilty instance gave,
      Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have.
  • I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    • William Shakespeare, Sonnets, 130
  • With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
  • And let not women’s weapons, water-drops,
    Stain my man’s cheeks! ...
  • Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1:4; 2:4
    • Variants: cadent [Ff]. accent [Q1 Q2]. accient [Q3]. candent (Theobald and Warburton). acrid or ardent (Anon. conj.)
  • ... On each side her
    Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
    With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
    To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
    And what they undid did.
    • William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, 2:2
  • Her cheekes like ripened lillies steept in wine,
    Or fair pomegranade kernels washt in milke,
    Or snow white threds in nets of crimson silke,
    Or gorgeous cloudes vpon the Sunnes decline.
    • Robert Greene, "Menaphons Eglogue", Menaphon (1589)
    • Variant: pomegranade: Pomegranate 1616
  • Her cheekes are like the blushing clowde
    That beautefies Auroraes face,
    • Thomas Lodge, "Rosalyndes description", Rosalynde (2nd ed., 1592)
  •   Roses red, Lillies white,
    And the cleare damaske hue,
      Shall on your cheekes alight:
        Loue will adorne you.
  • So may thy cheeks’ red outwear scarlet dye,
    And their white, whiteness of the Galaxy;
  • Her Cheeks so rare a white was on,
    No Dazy makes comparison,
        (Who sees them is undone)
    For streaks of red were mingled there,
    Such as are on a Katherine Pear,
        (The side that’s next the Sun.)
    • Sir John Suckling, "A Ballad upon a Wedding"
    • Fragmenta Aurea (1646)
  • Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
    Lock’d together in one nest.
  • Heaven, I'm in heaven
    And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
    And I seem to find the happiness I seek
    When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek
  • Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
    Or English poets who grew up on Greek
    (I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).

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