* Nathan was waiting in line at the grocery store, and some of the people in front of him were arguing about something. Check, please, Nathan thought to himself as he didn't want to be there anymore.
Note: Hello, person reading this. I'd like to make this clear: It's not uncommon for the origins of popular sayings to be unknown. In cases where this happens, what I might do is instead mention a theory or two about how a phrase may have originated. Or, if no theories are included, then I'll usually try to list the oldest known quote of an expression being used in writing. These quotes are to give you an idea on at least how old it is. Most of the time, these quotes come from books, newspapers, or poems.
Anyhow, thanks for dropping by. If you're looking for a certain expression and can't find it, well, more are being added, so maybe check back another time.
KnowYourPhrase.com - An Alphabetical List of Common Expressions
The Meaning of the Idiom - Check, Please - And its Possible Origins
The origin of this phrase is unknown. It may have originated from restaurants or eateries where it is common for people, after eating, to request for their bill by saying 'check, please.'
This phrase goes back to at least the early 20th century. For example, there's a part in The Australian Town and Country Journal newspaper, May 1905, that reads:
"'Will you give me my check, please?'The sound of her voice, breaking upon his ear, aroused Charteris
from his reverie. He looked up quickly, and saw that she was speaking to the waitress. It was a
common-place enough remark, but the weariness of her tone did not escape him."
In the quote above, it's acknowledged that the remark is a common-place one, so it must obviously be older. This quote, however, is the earliest that I could find with the words 'check' and 'please' next to each other.
1. A request to a waiter or waitress for the bill. The person who makes the request
wants to pay for their food and leave.
2. Being in an uncomfortable situation that one wants to leave.
Example: Frank was over at a friend's house and had to use the bathroom. He ended up clogging the toilet, and there was no plunger in sight. This predicament is somewhat embarrassing. Thus, Frank might say or think to himself 'check, please!' meaning he wishes he could leave this awkward situation.