Apple Idioms

Are you ready to take a big, juicy bite out of “Apple Idioms”? These tasty phrases are sprinkled through our language like apples in an orchard, ripe for the picking. Ever wondered why we talk about “the apple of one’s eye” or what it means to “compare apples and oranges”? We’re going to peel back the layers and get to the core of these delicious expressions. So, come along and let’s have a bushel of fun exploring the sweet and sometimes tart world of “Apple Idioms.”

What are Apple Idioms?

In our journey through language, we often come across phrases that seem to hold more than just their literal meaning. These special phrases are known as idioms. Apple idioms, in particular, are a juicy subcategory that weaves the common fruit into expressions often used in English. Apples, which are globally recognized symbols of health, knowledge, and temptation, have given rise to a variety of idiomatic expressions. Here’s a bite-sized overview:

We can organize some common apple idioms into two groups based on their meanings:

Positive Connotations Negative or Neutral Connotations
An apple a day keeps the doctor away Alley apple
The apple of one’s eye Upset the apple cart
As American as apple pie A bad apple

15 Apple Idioms: Crisp Expressions You Should Be Aware Of

List of Apple Idioms in English

The Big Apple
As American as apple pie
One bad apple spoils the whole bunch
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
How do you like them apples?
As sure as God made little green apples
Upset the apple cart
To compare apples to apples
Polish an apple for the teacher

Apple Idioms with Meaning and Example

Idioms Meaning and Example Sentence
The Big Apple A nickname for New York City.

Example: “She moved to The Big Apple to pursue her dream of acting on Broadway.”

As American as apple pie Something that is quintessentially American.

Example: “Baseball is as American as apple pie.”

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch One problematic person, item, or element can ruin everything.

Example: “They had to address the issue quickly before one bad apple spoiled the whole bunch.”

An apple a day keeps the doctor away A proverb suggests that eating healthy can lead to good health.

Example: “He eats lots of fruits and vegetables, believing that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree Children often resemble their parents in terms of traits or behaviors.

Example: “He’s just as stubborn as his father—the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

How do you like them apples? A way to ask someone what they think about a situation is often used in a confrontational or triumphant context.

Example: “I got the job even though you said I wouldn’t. How do you like them apples?

As sure as God made little green apples Absolutely certain.

Example: “I’m as sure as God made little green apples that the sun will rise tomorrow.”

Upset the apple cart To ruin a plan or disturb the status quo.

Example: “He was afraid that asking for a raise might upset the apple cart at work.”

To compare apples to apples To compare two similar things so that a fair assessment can be made.

Example: “We need to compare apples to apples when we look at the price of these two cars.”

Polish an apple for the teacher To try to gain favor, often through flattery or small acts of kindness.

Example: “He’s not above polishing an apple for the teacher if it means a better grade.”

Using Apple Idioms in Everyday Language

When we use apple idioms, we’re tapping into a rich tradition of expressions that add flavor to our conversations and writings.

In Social Situations

In social settings, apple idioms often convey our feelings about relationships and personal qualities. For example, when we refer to someone as the apple of our eye, we’re expressing that this person is cherished above all others. It’s a term of endearment we might use for a loved one during a heartfelt conversation. On the flip side, when someone’s behavior is less than admirable, we might call them a bad apple or a rotten apple, suggesting their negative influence could affect others.

  • Compliment: “My grandson is the apple of my eye.”
  • Critique: “Avoid the bad apples in the group; they’re nothing but trouble.”

In Literature and Storytelling

Apple idioms find their way into our narratives to illustrate various themes and character traits. A story might feature a character who is an apple-polisher, someone seeking favor through flattery or sycophancy. In a different scenario, an author might use the idiom a second bite of the apple to signal a character getting another opportunity to achieve something.

  • Creating Tension: “Don’t trust him; he’s a real apple polisher.”
  • Foreshadowing: “She thought she failed, but life gave her a second bite of the apple.”

In Professional Contexts

We also employ Apple idioms in business or professional communications, albeit more carefully. To call attention to unfair comparisons between projects or proposals, we might say they’re like apples and oranges. This highlights that we are looking at two dissimilar items that should not be directly compared.

  • Apt Comparison: “We can’t compare these two marketing strategies; it’s apples and oranges.”
  • Highlighting Potential: “Although he’s new, he’s not a bad apple—just give him time.