Welcome back to Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English!
Each week we explore the roots and meaning of common American expressions.
Today let's talk about apples.
The saying "as American as apple pie" describes things that represent the best of American culture. People use this expression when talking about things like blue jeans, baseball and rock-n-roll music.
But why use apple pie? Why not some other fruit, like a cherry or peach? The reason might be a man known as Johnny Appleseed.
A lot of stories and even a few poems have been written about Johnny Appleseed over the years. They made him into a larger than life folk hero.
Yet Johnny Appleseed was a real person. It was the name given to a man named John Chapman. Many Americans consider him responsible for popularizing apples in the United States.
John Chapman was born in Massachusetts in 1774 during the Revolutionary War against Britain. His father reportedly fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and later served under General George Washington. While John's mother died in childbirth, his father made it home from battle. He taught his son everything he knew about farming.
The young Chapman took his father's lessons to heart.
For 40 years, it is said that Johnny Appleseed cleared land and planted apple seeds in the Midwestern states of the U.S. In a short time, the seeds grew to become trees that produced fruit.
Apples were an important food for the early American settlers. Apples offered something different in daily meals. They were easy to grow and store for use throughout the year.
Perhaps the story of Johnny Appleseed has made apples and apple pie so very American. Historians can debate that. But this we do know. Apples are at the core (Get it? "Core" is the center of the apple.) of many common sayings.
Many apples fall from trees when they are fully-grown. When we say that an apple didn't fall far from the tree, we are describing children who are very much like their mother or father. And this can be for both good and bad reasons. As we said, John Chapman's father was a farmer. So, we could say that Johnny Appleseed's apple really didn't fall far from the tree.
That takes this expression to a whole new level!
Naturally, apple growers need a way to transport their produce to market. This is where a vehicle called an "applecart" enters the story.
It must have been a big mistake years ago to upset or overturn someone's applecart. In American English, you have upset the applecart if you ruin someone's plans or go against the usual way of doing things.
In fact, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an applecart as "a plan, system, or situation that may be disrupted or ended." But the verb used with the applecart expression is usually "upset."
The first recorded use of applecart being used in this way appeared in 1788. A man named Jeremy Belknap wrote in The History of New Hampshire that "(John) Adams had almost overset the apple-cart by intruding an amendment of his own fabrication (making) on the morning of the day of ratification" [of the Constitution].
This is yet another example of how apples seem very American. The only thing bad about an upset cart of potatoes, for example, is that potatoes are all over the ground.
So, the word apple appears in many American expressions. But does that mean we should eat one every day? You would think so, if you hear the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." That is not scientifically proven. But eating an apple a day can't be bad for you.
Apples are about 85 percent water. They can help you feel full. Also, they travel well. In other words, they rarely get damaged when you carry them in a bag, unlike other fruits (Yes, I'm talking about you, Banana!).
So, apples are good for us. And someone who does good things can be described as a good apple.
But there are also bad apples. And we all know that one bad apple spoils the bunch. Let's say there is a classroom of very well-behaved children. All the students are respectful. They do not shout or speak out of turn while the teacher is talking. Then a new student arrives. This student talks loudly and shows disrespect to the teacher. Soon other students follow her lead and disrupt class.
In this example, you could say that one bad apple spoiled the whole bunch.
Now, students who misbehave in class are not necessarily bad people. But, if the student we just talked about also steals apples from the store and then throws them at very old women, you could say she is rotten to the core.
Even a bad child can be loved by their parents. The father of this girl might say, "My daughter would never do such things! She is the apple of my eye!"
But this student is not the apple of the teacher's eye. The teacher punishes her and the class returns to the way it was. The other parents are very happy about this. They might even say, "How about them apples? Or "How do you like them apples?"
This expression is the same as saying, "Well. What do you think about that?" It can also be a way of showing you like or admire something.
I know. I know. The grammar in the expression "how about them apples" is not exactly right. But that is how we say it. Americans even shorten the word "about" to simply "'bout." You won't hear anyone say, "How about those apples?"
The grammar is main reason this expression sounds warm, folksy and rural to the ear -- well, the grammar and the apples.
And remember, it sounds like a country or rural expression. If a good friend tells you that their original cake recipe just won first place at a baking competition. "How 'bout them apples?!" would be a great response to that news. However, if a friend from New York City tells you that they just won a high-profile writing award, you might want to say something else.
But, comparing language used in a small, farming town with the language used in a city like New York is like comparing apples and oranges. There is no point because they are both so different.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.speak out of turn 冒失地说;多嘴
Speak out of turn, and an informer reports you.
2.the apple of my eye 掌上明珠
The Audience Choice's Award went to You Are the Apple of My Eye.
It appears to be business as usual at the institution, with at least one high-profile indictment proceeding this week.
4.apples and oranges 风马牛不相及的事物
Men and women are like apples and oranges.
谚语“地道美国式的（as American as apple pie）”形容某物代表了美国文化的精髓。人们在谈论事物如牛仔裤、棒球、摇滚乐的时候，会用到这个短语 。
然而苹果佬是一个真实存在的人。苹果佬约翰尼的本名叫约翰·查普曼 。许多美国人认为他负责在美国推广苹果 。
约翰·查普曼出生于1744年，正处反抗英国殖民的革命战争时期。他的父亲据报道在邦克山作战，后来在乔治·华盛顿将军手下服役 。约翰的母亲在生约翰的时候死了，他父亲打完仗后回到家，教给他儿子所有他知道的务农知识 。
苹果是早期美国移民的重要食物。苹果让他们的日常饮食变得与众不同 。苹果好种而且可以全年储存 。
也许是苹果佬约翰尼的故事使苹果和苹果派成为美国化的象征，历史学家可能对此会有争论。但这个我们是知道的，苹果是许多常用表达的核心（明白了吗？‘核’指的是苹果的果心 。）词汇 。
苹果太成熟了就会从树上落下来。当我们说“苹果落下来也离苹果树不远”的时候，我们是在形容孩子非常像父母 。可以是好的一面也可以是坏的一面 。正如我们前面说的，约翰·查普曼的爸爸是一个农民，那么我们真得可以说苹果佬约翰尼的工作真得和他爸的老本行差不多(Johnny Appleseed's apple really didn't fall far from the tree) 。
以前破坏或者推翻别人的苹果车肯定是个大错。在美语里，如果你毁了别人的计划或者不遵循常规的做法，你就是“打乱安排（upset the applecart）” 。
第一次有记载的“applecart”的这种用法出现在1788年。一个叫杰瑞米·贝尔纳普的人在《新罕布什尔州的历史》中写道：“在（宪法）批准的那天早上，约翰·亚当斯擅自修改了他自己编造的一项修正案，差点把事情搞砸（overset the apple-cart）” 。
所以，单词“apple”出现在许多美国表达里。但那意味着我们每天要吃一个苹果吗？如果你听过“一天一个苹果，医生远离我”的说法，你也许会这么认为 。那被证明是不科学的，但一天一个苹果对你没啥坏处 。
苹果含有大约85%的水分。它们能让你有饱腹感 。它们也很好运输 。换句话说，当你把它们放在袋子里随身携带时，它们很少会坏掉，不像其他水果（是的，我说的就是香蕉！） 。
那么，苹果于我们而言是好处多多。做好事的人会被称为“好人（good apple） 。”
但是也有坏苹果。我们都知道，烂一个苹果，就会烂一堆苹果 。比方说有一个教室里的孩子都是教养很好的孩子 。所有学生都有很礼貌 。当老师说话的时候，他们不会大喊大叫，也不会多嘴 。然后有一个新生来了 。这个学生讲话大声，也不尊敬老师 。很快其他学生跟她学坏了，开始扰乱课堂 。
即使是坏孩子，也会得到家长的疼爱。这个女孩的爸爸可能会说，“我的女儿不可能做这些事情，她是我的掌上明珠（the apple of my eye）！”
但这个学生不是老师的掌上明珠（the apple of the teacher's eye）。老师惩罚了她，班级又回到了以前的样子 。其他家长对此很高兴 。他们甚至会说，“孩子最近是不是表现得很好呀（How about them apples/How do you like them apples）？”
这个表达与俗语“你觉得怎样？（What do you think about that）”意思一样，它也可以表示你喜欢或者欣赏某物。
我知道。我知道 。“how about them apples"这个表达里的语法不对 。但我们就那么说的 。美国人甚至把单词“about”缩简为“'bout” 。你不会听到任何人说“How about those apples” 。
记住它是一个听起来很乡村的表达。如果你的好朋友告诉你他们自创的蛋糕配方刚刚在烘焙大赛中获得了第一名 。“牛不牛（how about them apples）？！”将是对那个消息的一个很好的回应 。然而，如果你的来自纽约的朋友告诉你他们刚刚在一个很有名的写作比赛中获奖，你也许得说点别的 。
但是把在农业小镇使用的语言和在像纽约那样的城市使用的语言作比较，就是牛头不对马嘴（apples and oranges）。毫无意义，因为他们都是如此不同 。