phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Upset his applecart

Posted by R. Berg on December 18, 2005

In Reply to: Upset his applecart posted by leanne on December 17, 2005

: Does anyone have data as to where the phrase "upset his applecart" come from?

According to Eric Partridge's "Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English," "apple-cart" is a colloquial word for the human body. Partridge cites a 1788 book that says "down with his apple-cart" means "knock or throw him down." He says, "In 'upset the apple-cart' there seems to be a merging of two senses: body and, in dialect, plan; originating [approximately] 1800."