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The meaning and origin of the expression: Upset the apple-cart

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Upset the apple-cart

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Don't upset the apple-cart'?

To 'upset the apple-cart' is to cause upset - to create a difficulty.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Don't upset the apple-cart'?

This allusory phrase is first recorded by Jeremy Belknap in The History of New Hampshire, 1788:

"Adams had almost overset the apple-cart by intruding an amendment of his own fabrication on the morning of the day of ratification" [of the Constitution].

See other 'Don't...' proverbs:

Don't cast your pearls before swine

Don't change horses in midstream

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched

Don't get mad, get even

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face

Don't keep a dog and bark yourself

Don't let the cat out of the bag

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Don't put the cart before the horse

Don't shut the stable door after the horse has bolted

Don't throw good money after bad

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Don't try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs