phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by SR on January 12, 2005

In Reply to: Nuts-family posted by R. Berg on December 20, 2004

: : : : Does anyone know the origin of the saying, "The nuts don't fall far from the tree"?

: : : : Thanks!

: : : I thought it was: the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. But I couldn't find it in any of my references. So far.

: : And I have the apple falling not far from the tree. Gravity seems to be working well throughout the arboretum.

: Furthermore, no tree grows to the sky.

Posted by ESC on October 24, 2000
In Reply to: origin and meanifng of below listed saying posted by anne on October 23, 2000

: the apple never falls far from the tree

THE APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE - "Apparently of Eastern origin, it is frequently used to assert the continuity of family characteristics. Quot. 1839 implies return to one's original home. Cf. 16th century Ger. 'der Apfel fellt nicht gerne weit vom Baume,' the apple does not usually fall far from the tree." From "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs" by John Simpson and Jennifer Speake (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, Third Edition, 1998).

".Probably applied most often now to someone with obvious failings, the saying asserts the problem was simply passed along from parent to child. The notion is similar to the older 'Like father, like son,' and 'Like mother, like daughter,' and seems to have appeared first in German. The American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson apparently was the first to use it in English when in an 1839 letter, he wrote that 'the apple never falls far from the stem.' But here Emerson used it in another sense, to describe that tug that often brings us back to our childhood home. A century later, however, the saying appeared in its current form and connotation in 'Body, Boots, and Britches' by H. W. Thompson." From Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New; by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).

The proverb also appears in Russian, according to Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Mr. Titelman lists a similar proverb: "It runs in the family.found in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play 'The School for Scandal' ."


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