Posted by Bruce Kahl on June 15, 2004
In Reply to: Proverbs posted by Steve Ruhemann on June 15, 2004
: A commonly used cliche refers to "one bad (or rotten) apple in a barrel".
: It is currently often used to imply that an observed fault is exceptional.
: I believe that this is wrong, and that the original idea is that a single bad apple can cause the rest to go rotten and should therefore be removed immediately on discovery.
: I would like to know whether I am right about this or, if not, what the real meaning is.
: I would also like to know the whole wording of the saying and its origin.
You are correct in that a single bad apple could cause the rest to spoil and the bad apple should be removed or quarantined ASAP.