The Apple of My Eye

Originally meaning the central aperture of theeye. Figuratively it is something, or more usually someone, cherished above others.


The phrase is exceedingly old and firstappears in Old English in a work attributed to King Aelfred (the Great)of Wessex, AD 885, entitled ‘ Gregory’s Pastoral care’. The earliestrecorded use in modern English is in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘OldMortality’, 1816:

“Poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of my eye.”

It also appears in the Bible – Deuteronomy 32:10:

He found him in a desert land,and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructedhim, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

and Zechariah 2:8:

For thus saith the LORD ofhosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiledyou: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

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