What does the idiom "be the apple of sb\'s eye" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. be the apple of sb\'s eye meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "be the apple of sb\'s eye"


The idiom 'be the apple of someone's eye' is an expression that refers to a person who is greatly loved and cherished above all else. It is a metaphor that compares the person to the apple, the favorite fruit of the ancient Hebrews, which was believed to be the most beautiful and beloved of all the fruits. Thus, the idiom denotes the person who is most beloved and treasured.


The expression is derived from the Latin phrase "mala in oculos,” which translates literally to "apple of the eye." This idiom was first used in the Old English translation of the Bible, which was published in 1611. In this translation, the phrase is used to describe Israel as the people God favored above all others.


The idiom 'be the apple of someone's eye' is commonly used to refer to a person who is favored above all others and cherished deeply. It can be used both literally and figuratively; one can be the apple of the family's eye, or one can be the apple of their partner's eye. The phrase can also be used to refer to an object or accomplishment that one takes pride in, such as their career or a piece of art.

Example Sentences

  • My granddaughter is the apple of my eye; I love her and cherish her more than anything else.
  • My son's painting was the apple of his eye; he was so proud of it and showed it off to everyone who visited.
  • My daughter is the apple of her father's eye; he loves her more than anything.
  • My new job is the apple of my eye; I'm so proud of how far I've come.

The meanings of the words in the "be the apple of sb\'s eye" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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