The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree


This phrase is typically said in connection with children who show qualities or talents that are similar to those of their parents.

Example: Dan was an older man with back problems, so whenever he came home with a car full of groceries, he had difficulty carrying everything inside. One day, when Dan returned from grocery shopping, his neighbor decided to help him with the lifting. A week later, when Dan returned once again with food, this time the neighbor’s son came over to help.

Thus, Dan told the boy: “I see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In other words, he was saying that the boy was just like his father; they were both kind and helpful.

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. Like father, like son
2. Like two peas in a pod
An apple that did not fall far from the tree.

The Origin Of ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree’

Now, let’s talk about the origin of the phrase ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’

You’ve probably seen this before yourself, but scattered around the bottom of an apple tree (or pretty much any fruit tree for that matter) is the fruit it produces. This fruit falls off the branches and drops to the ground, remaining close to the tree it came from. Eventually, a metaphor developed from this natural occurrence and now today, it means that a person ‘is not far off from how their parents are.’

But who was the person that came up with the proverb?

It was me. I’m just kidding. The exact person is not known, and the place where it originated from is not clear either, however, I’ve heard Asia being mentioned as a possibility.

According to Richard Jenie, who wrote¬†German Proverbs from the Orient, he mentions that this proverb makes an early appearance in the year 1585. That’s old, but the earliest that I’ve seen it in print is from the year 1605. It’s in a a book (named below) by Hieronymus Megiser. There are proverbs listed in this book, and on page 65, there’s a part that reads:

“Der Apffel fellt nicht weit vom Baum.”

(When translated from German to English, this says: “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”)

This quote is from a book called (roughly translated): Aroemiologia Polyglottos: that is, Proverbs and opinions of different languages.

Anyways, if this proverb does go back to the year 1585, then that means it’s at least 430 years old.

Examples Of “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree”

Here are two examples of this expression being used in a sentence:

  • You are a talented piano player from what I’ve seen, and your mother is also a skilled pianist, right? I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Sarah was a kind person, always showing consideration for others. Her parents were the same way, so it seems that the apple never falls far from the tree, as the saying goes.

Did You Know?

Why does a fruit tree drop its fruit? This can happen for several reasons. For example, weather conditions. If the wind is blowing hard enough or hail is falling, these can cause fruit to fall off. Another reason is that the tree lacks water. Fruit obviously needs water to grow, so if there is not enough to go around, then the tree may drop some of its produce until it has enough water to support the remaining ones.

So there you go. Now, here’s a random fact: Did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples on the earth? Whoa.