An Apple for the Teacher(s)


I have written all of these previous entries with English learners in mind, but today I found a fun resource for teachers of all kinds. This is a brief entry – but the little slide show is well worth your time.  Check it out! (If you don’t see a slide show appear right underneath this sentence, try refreshing your window. It ought to appear and it’s worth the wait, insha’Allah!)

And – as the theme of this entry relates to a little gift for a teacher, here are a few apple-flavored tidbits more:

“An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”

Derived from the old English saying . . .“Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed, make the doctor beg his bread,” the original author of this most popular apple saying has been lost to history.

Today, the expression rings truer than ever, as our knowledge of apples’ many and myriad health benefits increases. Source:

“As American As Apple Pie*”

Americans may profess to have invented this quintessentiallyAmerican dessert, but history books trace pie as far back as 14th Century England. Pie-making skills, along with apple seeds, came over with the Pilgrims, and as the country prospered the rather slim apple pie of colonial times became the deep-dished extravaganza we enjoy today.Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, apple pie became the symbol of American prosperity, causing one American newspaper to proclaim in 1902, “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” Source:

* Excellent recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

“Upper Crust” (As In Apple Pie)

In early America, when times were hard and cooking supplies were scarce, cooks often had to scrimpand save on ingredients.Apple pie was a favorite dish, but to save on lard and flour, only a bottom crust was made. More affluent households could afford both an upper and a lower crust, so those families became known as “the upper crust.” Source:

(As a literary side note – if you would  like to read an example of what American “upper crust” was, try The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. This is certainly one of my all-time favorite books and films!)

“Apple Polisher”

The custom of “apple polishing” hails from the little red schoolhouses of yore. Young children whose math skills were less than exemplary sought to win their teacher’s favor instead with a gift of a bright, shiny apple. Remember this ditty? “An apple for the teacher will always do the trick when you don’t know your lesson in arithmetic.”

“Adam’s Apple”


This physiological terminology sprung from the conception that the protuberance on a man’s throat was caused by a piece of forbidden apple from the Garden of Eden’s Tree of

Knowledge lodged in Adam’s throat, rather than the thyroid cartilage of the larynx. Source:

New York . . . “The Big Apple”

Two different stories . . . and here they are . . .

This nickname for one of our nation’s greatest cities, New York, dates from the 1930s and ’40s, when jazz jived in clubs across the country. The smokey clubs of New York City were the favorite hotspots of the likes of Charlie Parker and other jazz greats, and Manhattan soon became known for having “lots of apples on the tree” – that is, lots of places to play jazz. Source: USApple.orgAnother source states:

The Big Apple is a nickname or moniker for New York City. It was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. Its popularity since the 1970s is due to a promotional campaign by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, known now as NYC & Company. Source: Wikipedia

“Apple of My Eye”

This expression dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, when people conceived of the pupil of the eye to be, like the apple, a global object.The word itself comes from the Anglo-Saxon “aeppel”, which literally meant both “eye” and “apple.” In addition to providing the literal, vital sense of vision, the pupil was also regarded as the figurative “window” to the treasured secrets within each of us. Thus, the “apple of my eye” meant someone very beloved.

“The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse, how he shall take his prey.” – William Blake

“There’s small choice in rotten apples” – (From The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

It’s like comparing apples to oranges.” – Proverb




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