An Apple A Day

Meaning of “An Apple a Day”

The phrase has been taken from the proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It means that apple as fruit is medicinal as well as nutritious food and helps keep people healthy. Therefore, this phrase means that if a person eats an apple every day, he need not visit a doctor.

Origin of “An Apple a Day”

Its first printed usage has been traced to Notes and Queries, an English magazine in its publication of February 1860 where it terms a Pembrokeshire proverb as “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” However, it has varied versions such as a Devonian version that Elizabeth Mary Wright recorded in her book Rustic Speech and Folk-lore published in 1913 where it goes; “Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread.” Since then, it has transformed into the current modern version whose first part represents its entire meanings.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Apple A Day by Sherif Monem

Yummy, Yummy apple a day
sweetly, tasty, surely
green, red and yellow
all taste delicious
Gala? Fuji? Granny Smith?
Cold sparkling apple juice
Cold and hot apple cider?
Munchy, crunchy and sugary
Mammy, Mammy apple pie
Take a slice and never cry
Ooh, ooh apple we love you
All of your varieties
Sure, sure the secret way
for happy long life
as wise man once said
Have an apple a day
and keep the doctor away

This poem by an electrical engineer, Sherif Monem, has captured the very essence of this phrase in the second last line in two verses rhyming with each other to make up this proverb. This poem beautifully sheds light on the benefits of having an apple, its varieties, and how we use it. The proverb is extended as a recommendation to the children so that they know the benefits of apple and eat them without making a fuss.

Example #2

Anna Marie by John Jeffers and Cody Cannon and Whiskey Myers

A penny for a nickel and nickel for a dime
A dime for quarter it makes her feel fine
It takes an apple a day to keep the doctor away
It takes a whole lot less to make my baby stay

Woo hoo (hey) Anna Marie
Woo hoo (hey) That’s Anna Marie
Woo hoo (hey) Anna Marie

The song tells the story of Anna Marie, a girl, in a very jubilant tone, expressing the writer’s main aim that they love her. These two stanzas tell how she keeps the money and then purchases apples that keep the doctor away from her. In other words, a lady does not have to spend much money to look beautiful. Healthy eating habits, especially eating apples, will keep us fit.

Example #3

Angelina and I by Nurul Jannah

“Oh, it’s you!” said Angelina joyfully, clapping her hands. “She’s Annie Algie, a freshman from Yale. Di you bring anything for me, Lulu?” asked Angelina hopefully. Frankly, I did not know who Lulu was but I felt it was not right to protest or tell her the truth. Maybe, it was better if she knew me as Lulu instead of Rosalyn, my real name..
“I brought you apples. You like apples don’t you?”
“Of course!” said Angelina cheerfully, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
“And one for you too, Annie,” I said as I gave Annie an apple too.
“Thank you, “said Annie pompously and she gave the apple a big bite.

This paragraph has been taken from the short story “Angelina and I” by Nurul Jannah. Rosalyn is also called Lulu. The story is told from Rosalyn’s point of view and her friendship with Angelina. Here Angelina states that she has brought apples for Rosalyn and uses the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The phrase is used as a whole proverb, which points to its application in common settings.

Example #4

An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia by Emma Woolf

A writer, journalist, and columnist, Emma Woolf wrote about her eating disorder and resultant anorexia. She started eating an apple a day and launched her successful life. She suffered from this eating disorder because of willful and prolonged starvation. Then she came to know how healthy the fruit is and wrote her memoir to share her experience. She also encourages the readers about the health benefits on an apple and its health impacts on the body. This phrase is used as the title of the book to highlight this fact.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, imagine what orange and banana can do.”

Example #2: “My grandmother always uses the old saying ‘an apple a day’ to make us eat apples.”

Example #3: “Although he knows an apple a day keeps the doctor away, he also knows that when you are ill you must consult your physician first.”

Example #4: “Eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, according to Japanese scientists, it is better to eat apples without their skin.”

Example #5: “If you repeat ‘an apple a day’ every time you eat one, I will give it to somebody who can enjoy them without being dramatic.”