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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 also: the List of Proverbs.