I have a confession to make before I present this video. This site is the Apple of My Eye. I know it may not be much to look at, but I truly enjoy the research journeys I go on to find out these interesting things about food history, food culture, food science, and more. Sure, sometimes it is tons of tedious work, but there is so often a moment of discovery when you discover something that doesn’t meet your long-held expectations.
This particular piece of research was one of those, and, while the actual content of the video is short, the reading I did to prepare it was some of the most fascinating I’ve done for this site. Maybe you won’t find this as fascinating as I did, but I’ll bet what you thought was the origin of the idiom “Apple of my Eye” was mistaken!
The passage below is a transcript of the video, hence the more informal wording.
What Does Apple of My Eye Mean?
I take it you know what we mean when we call someone the “apple of my eye” but in case you do not, it means someone who is precious, someone cherished. Our daughters, or sons we call the apple of our eye. Or our grandchildren. Or our significant other, our soul mate, as it were.
When you think the origin of this, it’s kind of tempting to think, well, okay, maybe apples could be seen as precious. Maybe not everyone could get them. And so you might look on a loved one, you know, the same way you look on a precious piece of fruit. But then, of course, you have to ask, really? Apples? C’mon. Why not a diamond or even a piece of hard candy? It just doesn’t really seem to fly. And it doesn’t fly because that is NOT really the origin of the expression. It actually had to do with the eye itself, rather than something the eye looked on, or regarded as precious.