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My son asked be about the adjective cherry and where it came from or when it started to be used. The OED did not list it. Some other dictionaries listed it as slang. I used books.google.com/ngrams with the phrase “is cherry”.
I only found two books: Airframe (1997) by Michael Crichton and The Valley Diner Boys (2000) by William D. Beatrice.
What is your recollection of cherry as an adjective?
I remember adjectival cherry all my life. In my experience, it often applied to classic cars in like-new condition.
Without looking it up, my intuition tells me it is related to the noun cherry as applied to virginity / hymen. c.f. losing one’s cherry; pop one’s cherry.
According to here, this noun use of cherry is quite old (1889): cherry