Apple of my eye? Here is where the phrase come from

‘The apple of my eye’ is very old and first appears in Old English in a work attributed to King Aelfred (the Great) of Wessex, AD 885, titled Gregory’s Pastoral Care.

Originally it means the central aperture of the eye. Figuratively it is something, or more usually someone, cherished above. 

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

This term,which rests on the ancients’ idea that the eye’s pupil is apple-shaped and that eyes are particularly precious.

apple of my eye

Shakespeare used the phrase in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1600:

Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid’s archery,
Sink in apple of his eye

It also appears several times in the Bible; for example, in Deuteronomy 32:10 (King James Version, 1611)

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

and in Zechariah 2:8:

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

The phrase was known from those early sources but became more widely used in the general population when Sir Walter Scott included it in the popular novel Old Mortality, 1816:

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

 

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WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources (Kindle Edition)


By (author):  Donna R Causey

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me

All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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