the apple of my eyeは目の中のリンゴではありません!リンゴに関する英語フレーズを学ぶ【Small Talk】


Thoughts on Apples(リンゴについて思うこと)


There I was, on top of my tall ladder in an orchard in Tasmania, Australia, twisting apples off their branches. I was in the country on a holiday working visa, and I loved my job. The views were always spectacular, and the other apple pickers, from all over the world, were a lot of fun to work with.

Once in a while, some of the German guys would shoot less-than-perfect apples across the trees to hit other workers. One morning, it appeared that I was the target as apples kept landing on my feet, one after the other. Delighted with what I thought was attention from these good-looking guys, I shouted out: “Wow, someone’s a great shot! Who is that?” Then, after looking around for a second, I realized, “Oh, it’s me!” The bottom of the bag strapped to my chest had opened up a bit, and whenever I put an apple in the top part, one would pop out the bottom and hit my shoe with a thud! Ah, well.

We were welcome to eat as many of the fruit as we wanted to as we worked. My family was sure I would never want to see another apple again in my life, but the truth was that I had grown addicted to them, in all their different kinds and tastes – crisp, sweet, bitter, sour ...





Biting Into History

Apples have such a long and rich history. This beloved fruit originated many centuries ago in Kazakhstan, and the name of that country’s former capital, Alma Alta, actually means “full of apples.” Through trade and exploration, apples were spread across Asia and Europe, with the famous Silk Road playing a role in their distribution. By the 17th century, the fruit was so popular in Britain that many people who sailed from there to Canada, the United States and several other countries took apples and apple pips on the trip with them as treasured possessions.

Interestingly, the word “æppel” in Old English referred to any kind of fruit, other than berries. If someone wanted to specify a certain kind of fruit, then it was often necessary to use a longer phrase. A banana was known as an “apple of paradise.” Cucumbers were “earth apples,” and dates were “finger apples.” Eventually the word went from being a general term for fruit to what we know as an apple today.




An A-peeling (Appealing) Fruit

To peel or no to peel? That is the question. When I was growing up, apples were the perfect after-school snack. You just grabbed one from the fruit bowl and plunked yourself down in front of the TV. They were already washed, so you could just start crunching. We didn’t think about peeling them. Oh, and apples were a lunchtime staple, placed into brown paper lunch bags along with a sandwich and taken to school or the office.

I remember when I was first in Japan, I was happy when someone handed me an apple and then passed over a knife and plate. “Oh, good,” I thought. “We must be getting more food.” That was when I learned that very few people just bite into an apple here! Part of the reason is the difference in sizes. Japanese apples are often twice as large as overseas apples, so they are meant more for sharing and are thus often peeled and cut into slices.

I have now become totally used to getting out the knife, but I still like to leave my apples unpeeled, if I can. It’s much healthier. An apple with its skin still on contains 50 percent more phytonutrients than a peeled one! Apple skins also contain compounds with anti-cancer capabilities – particularly when it comes to preventing liver, colon and breast cancer. But if the fruit has been sprayed with a ton of chemicals, it makes more sense to peel it. And, of course, no matter what kind of apples you buy, it’s common sense to wash them well.

Hey, did you know there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples grown worldwide? So many apples to try, and so little time ...









Biting Into History

(見出し)bite into ~~にかじり付く、かぶり付く
Silk Road シルクロード、絹の道
play a role in ~~で役割を果たす、~の一翼を担う
Old English古英語

An A-peeling (Appealing) Fruit

plunk oneself downドシンと座る



the apple of my eye(目に入れても痛くないもの、お気に入り)

This phrase is used to describe someone who is very dear and treasured by you. “Her granddaughter was the apple of her eye.”


comparing apples to oranges(無意味な比較をすること)

This is a popular expression used in everyday speech to suggest that two items or situations cannot be compared fairly because they are not really alike. “Comparing singers to rappers is like comparing apples to oranges.”


comparing apples to apples(同一条件で比較すること、合理的な比較をすること)

This has the opposite meaning of the above idiom and is far less common. It is used for comparing things that can reasonably be compared. “This data is misleading. We haven’t been comparing apples to apples.”



This verb means to flatter or give praise to someone in a way that is insincere. It’s a different food item, but doesn’t this sound similar to the Japanese expression “goma wo suru”? The noun is “apple-polisher.” “The way Jane is always complimenting the boss is so annoying. She’s such an apple-polisher!”


upset the apple cart(計画をぶち壊す、台無しにする)

This means to disrupt or upset a carefully laid plan or the established order of things. “Everything is finally going smoothly at the office right now. Let’s not do anything to upset the apple cart.”


as American as apple pie(非常にアメリカ的な、アメリカ独特の)

This phrase is used to describe something that is typically American, like apple pie, which is considered a classic American dessert. “Watching baseball is as American as apple pie.”


the Big Apple(ビッグアップル)

This is a nickname for New York City. “I am heading over to the Big Apple this weekend!” On that note, did you know that many Western residents here in Japan refer to Tokyo as the Big Mikan?


One bad apple spoils the bunch.(腐ったリンゴが集団を駄目にする)

This expression means that one negative or troublesome person can influence a group negatively. “Our office did not have such a toxic atmosphere until Robert joined. One bad apple is now spoiling the bunch.”


How do you like dem/them apples?(どう思いますか?、どうですか?)

This is a humorous phrase that means “What do you think about that?” or “How’s that for a surprise?” It is not grammatically correct, but it would lose its comical meaning if you used “those apples.” Maybe you have just made an impressive move in chess. You would look at your opponent, smile sweetly and say, “So, how do you like dem apples?”

これは、「それについてどう思う?」とか「どう、驚いた?」という意味の、ユーモアのあるフレーズです。(dem applesは)文法的には正しくありませんが、「those apples」を使用すると、面白味が失われます。例えば、チェスで素晴らしい一手を打ったとします。あなたは相手を見て、にっこり笑って「どうですか?」と言うでしょう。

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.(似たもの親子、この親にしてこの子あり)

This is used to describe children who are a lot like their mother or father. “Her daughter soon showed her own artistic talent, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”


An apple a day keeps the doctor away.(1日1個のリンゴで医者いらず)

This is a common saying, based on the fact that apples are good for you. But they are not magical! A study in 2015 reported that people in the United States who ate at least one apple a day were no less likely to visit a doctor.


英語コラム執筆:Margaret Stalker

英語を学び、英語で学ぶための語学情報ウェブサイト「ENGLISH JOURNAL」が、英語学習の「その先」にあるものをお届けします。 単なる英語の運用能力にとどまらない、知識や思考力を求め、「まだ見ぬ世界」への一歩を踏み出しましょう!

本文画像:Marek StudzinskiShelley Pauls from Unsplash


2024 06