The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is a phrase that 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 he hated coming home with a car full of groceries. Lifting everything inside was such a pain for him! But one day when Dan returned from shopping, his neighbor came over to help. Then the next time, the neighbor’s son helped to carry everything inside.
So Dan told the boy: “I see that the apple never falls far from the tree.” In other words, he was saying that the boy was just like his father—they were both nice and helpful.
The Origin Of ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree’
Let’s talk about the origin of the phrase ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’
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, this natural occurrence turned into a metaphor and now today, it means that a person ‘is not far off from how their parents are.’
But who was the person who came up with this proverb?
Well, it was me. I’m kidding. Unfortunately, the exact person is not known. Moreover, the place where it originated from is not clear either, however, I’ve heard it mentioned that this saying may have come from Asia.
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 I’ve seen it in print is from the year 1605. It’s in a book (named below) by Hieronymus Megiser. There are multiple 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, that means it is at least 430 years old.
Tip: For more sayings like this one, we have a list of common English phrases starting with “T” that you can explore. Check it out!
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 it can cause fruit to fall. 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.