July 01, 2012
apple-pie (adjective)
\AP-ul-PYE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: just right : perfect
How do you use it?
He sighed happily and said, "The bright sun, the warm breeze, the smell of barbecue: it's an apple-pie summer day."
Are you a word wiz?

What was happening in history around the time the adjective "apple-pie" first was used in English?

If you chose A, you're right! "Apple-pie," meaning "perfect," was first used in English in the late 1700s, around the same time that John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman was a child. The adjective "apple-pie" comes from the dessert. Evidently whoever coined the adjective thought that a good apple pie was the best thing that could be had. For decades "apple-pie" simply meant "perfect," but more recently, it has come to describe something that is typically American. That sense comes from the idea that apple pie is an all-American dish, even though apple pie was eaten in Europe long before it was introduced to America.
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