Second bite of the apple/cherry?

Posted by Paul Guthrie on October 18, 2001

In Reply to: Second bite of the apple? posted by ESC on October 17, 2001

: : What is the origin of the phrase, to get a second bite of the apple??? HELP!!!

: This is a guess: it means sex and refers to the forbidden fruit that Eve offered to Adam. What do you guys think?

'Second bite of the cherry' appears to be almost as common as 'second bite of the apple'. (1160 and 1170 matches respectively on Google). Both phrases seem to mean the same thing. I.e. something along the lines of having a second go at something, perhaps with an underlying imputation that such a second chance is not really deserved, or that it is a bonus.

As for the origin, my guess is that it derives directly from the imagery of eating the respective fruits. In the case of a cherry, typically one bite is all that it is going to take to eat it. To get a second bite, would really be a bonus, in effect you would get to eat it twice. In the case of an apple, the image I see is that the first bite is really the best, and once an apple has been bitten is not as desirable (i.e. you could not offer an apple to someone that has a bite taken out of it) and so in this case getting a second bite would like being able to get the first bite from the same apple twice.