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The apple of someone’s eye

刊登日期: 2017.02.10
作者: Grace Tse  

Florists and restaurants are currently busy preparing for Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February. Quite often, romantic films and advertisements use the following idiom to show the love between a man and a woman. 

You are the apple of my eye(我最珍貴的人). 

To be “the apple of someone’s eye” means to be someone’s most cherished one. 

This expression dates back to the 9th century, when King Alfred used it to refer to the pupil of the eye. What is in common between an apple and the pupil? In ancient times, the pupil was thought to be a solid, spherical object, like an apple. Thus, the expression does not mean that there is an apple in someone’s eye. 

Later, the expression is used metaphorically to describe someone who is dear, precious and important to you. We treasure our loved ones as much as we value the pupil of our eye. Nowadays the idiom can be applied to everything, from our children, to our soul mate and even to a pet or a toy. 

She called her doll the apple of her eye(她的最愛). 

The idiom has become widely known because it was used in some famous written works, including William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”(《仲夏夜之夢》), and the English translations of the Old Testament(《舊約》)in the Bible. For example, in the following biblical extract, God called the Israelites(古以色列人)the apple of His eye. 

He found them in a wilderness, …. He shielded them and cared for them, guarding them as the apple of his eye.(上主在曠野之地,……發現了他,遂將他抱起,加以撫育,加以保護,有如自己的眼珠。) 


Glossary

Florists 花店
Romantic 浪漫 
Advertisements 廣告
Cherished 珍愛
Pupil 瞳孔
Spherical 球形
Soul mate 知己
Biblical extract 聖經摘錄

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