You’re the Apple of My Eye

You’re the apple of my eye. How do you feel when someone says that to you? Are you frightened, angered, or pleased?

You should be pleased, because if you are the apple of someone’s eye, then they cherish or care deeply for you. They hold you in the center of their thoughts and want to please you and protect you.

But where did this idiom come from, and what is the apple of your eye?

The expression itself has been found as early as the ninth century, in the writings of King Alfred. At that time, the pupil of the eye was thought to be a solid round object. The apple was a very common round fruit, and because of the similar appearance, the center of the eye became known as the apple.

The word pupil is actually from Latin, appearing in English in about the sixteenth century. Even if you are not a Latin scholar, I think you’ll find it interesting that the original Latin word was pupilla, meaning little doll. Why is this significant? Because the name pupil was used to label the little doll, or tiny image of yourself that you see when you look into the center of someone else’s eye.

Since our sense of sight is very precious to us and in need of protection, calling someone the apple of my eye came to mean that the person was cherished and very precious to us. In fact, we would do almost anything for them because they are one of the most important things in our lives.

As the fall season approaches and apples are more readily available, I wanted to be sure that you were familiar with this idiom. Think of someone you care deeply for – maybe it is a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a child. Is that person the apple of your eye? You would do almost anything for this person because you care for him or her so much. But have you told them how much you care?

Here is my challenge to you during this fall season. Each time you see an apple, I want you to use it as a trigger to remind you of this expression. Think of the apple of your eye, whoever it is. And, when you see an apple, I want you to tell that special person something that you love about him or her. You may say, ” You are the apple of my eye” or you may give them a specific example of something you love.

Use this opportunity to practice not only saying this expression, but showing that you mean it.

By the way, did you catch the pun in the picture above? If so, let me know in the comments below!

If you are having trouble pronouncing the word apple or other words in this expression, find out how you can get pronunciation classes for free.