Skip to main content

Fruit in English Proverbs and Sayings

I love the English language, it's so expressive and colourful, with its nuances of meaning, metaphors, puns, proverbs, and regional slang

English Language Has Many Proverbs And Sayings About Fruit

The English language is rich in imagery, metaphors, proverbs and sayings. Look about you and you'll find that many common objects are reflected in every day speech. These are expressions which English speakers take for granted, but among these phrases you might find one here that you have not used before.

Take a bowl of fruit - almost every type of fruit is represented in our speech, quite apart from the literal meaning.

If you speak English well, you will find this page entertaining and, If you are learning English as a second language (known as ESL, ESOL, TEFL,TESOL or TESL), you will, in addition, find this summary of Proverbs and Sayings About Fruit very useful.

A Bowl Of Fruit

Still Life

Still Life

Take A Bowl Of Fruit - Almost Every Type Of Fruit Is Represented In Our Speech, Quite Apart From The Literal Meaning

If you speak English well, you will find this page entertaining and, If you are learning English as a second language, you will, in addition, find this summary of Proverbs and Sayings About Fruit very useful

Proverbs And Sayings About Apples

The English Do Love Their Apples

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away - Proverb - meaning if you have an apple every day, you will stay healthy
  • A rotten apple in the barrel - a bad person or thing among the good ones
  • The apple of my eye - someone very special
  • Adam's apple - laryngeal prominence - i.e. the thyroid cartilage which shows as a lump on men's throats
  • To upset the apple cart - to spoil previously made plans

Grapes - Sayings And Metaphors


The English Language Is Short Of Proverbs About Grapes

  • The grapes of wrath - the results of anger
  • (this is also the name of a brilliant modern classic book by John Steinbeck, which was made into an equally brilliant film, starring Peter Fonda)
  • Sour grapes - An expression used to describe a situation where someone is criticizing something they really want but can't have, or saying they don't want it. The precise words you would use are "it's just sour grapes"

Sayings And Metaphors - Cherries


You Can't Beat An English Cherry Tree Blossoming In Spring

  • The cherry on the cake - the most important or appealing part of something. For instance "I have a good job and the cherry on the cake is that I get six weeks' paid leave"
  • Cherry picking - Cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. NB When using this expression, you always say "cherry picking" not "picking a cherry"

Sayings In English Language About Bananas


  • To slip on a banana skin - to make an elementary mistake
  • To go bananas - To be very angry or go mad, or to be excessive

    e.g. I nearly went bananas by adding not one, not two, but three photographs of bananas here!

A Metaphor - Kiwi

I Can't Think Of Any English Proverbs About Kiwi Fruit But Here Is A Metaphor

  • A Kiwi - a New Zealander (The kiwi fruit is presumably very prolific in New Zealand).

If you haven't tried kiwi fruit, I can highly recommend that you do - they are sweet, juicy and full of flavour. You can peel the thin furry skin first and then eat them whole or slice them up for a fruit salad or dessert topping - they look very ornamental with their varigated green tones. I must confess I don't usually peel them - I just wash them and eat them like an apple.

Oranges - An English Saying And An Old English Nursery Rhyme


An English Proverb And A Song About Oranges

  • Oranges are not the only fruit - Not everyone is the same, i.e it takes all sorts to make the world.
  • There is also a book called "Oranges are not the Only Fruit" by Jeannette Winterton which was made into a very successful television drama series, about a girl growing up as a lesbian, and the effect on her family and friend relationships.
  • Oranges and Lemons - A popular children's song, sung at small children's parties, where two people hold their hands together in an arch and the rest of the children pass through the arch, one at a time:
Scroll to Continue

Oranges and Lemons

Say the bells of St Clements

You owe me five farthings

Say the bells of St Martins

When will you pay me

Say the bells of Old Bailey

When I grow rich

Say the bells of Shoreditch

When will that be

Say the bells of Stepney

I do not know

say the great bells of Bow

Here comes a chopper to chop off your head

Here comes a candle to light you to bed.

Chip-chop chip-chop last man's head!

(and with that, the axe comes down on the head of the child passing through the arch, and chops it off - figuratively of course - and that child is "Out". The game continues until, one-by-one all the children save one are "Out", and the last remaining one is the winner).

A Veritable Fruit Salad Of English Sayings


But No English Proverbs About Peaches, Lemons, Limes Or Plums - Just Metaphors

  • A peach - a beauty or you can say someone is peachy
  • A lemon - A bit of an idiot
  • A limey - a British person (from the practice in the British navy of giving sailors lime juice to prevent scurvy on long journeys)
  • plum an adjective meaning especially good e.g. a plum job

No Figures Of Speech For Strawberries, But You Might Like A Beetles Song Instead, So Try The One Below


Poll About "Fruit In Proverbs And Sayings"- Take The Poll Below


I like my web pages to be entertaining and/or educational - so that readers feel they enjoyed the experience and maybe took away with them something they didn't previously know.

Let's see what you thought.

And don't forget to leave a comment afterwards - join in the fun!

Please Tell Us All What You Think - About English, About Fruit, Or Even About World Events

It's such fun to hear from people all round the world - it never ceases to please and amaze me, sitting at my computer in London, and getting messages from every continent in the world .

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Do Leave Your Comments Or Questions Here

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on March 14, 2014:

@Andromachi: I always like to know that people have learned something new from my lenses, so thanks

Andromachi Polychroniou from Maurothalassa, Serres, Greece on March 14, 2014:

Even though I knew some of them, I didn't know more so this lens was really refreshing, enjoyable and educative. Thanks for your hard work

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on February 16, 2014:

We really do use fruit in a lot of different terms of description. I have always thought of a lemon as a clunker or as something that does not work the way it should.

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on June 17, 2013:

@Gypzeerose: Me too - I still read books about language

Rose Jones on June 16, 2013:

I love this series of lenses you have written. As a writer I have a deep appreciation of the English language.

moonlitta on June 16, 2013:

Loved them and learned some, including pea brain:)

Michey LM on January 25, 2013:

Very interesting, I didn't know a good part of them, so I learn something new.

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on January 25, 2013:

@AlleyCatLane: Sometimes I eat the skin, sometimes not - edible but not especially nice, like peach skin

AlleyCatLane on January 25, 2013:

I didn't know one could eat the skin of a kiwi. I have always liked them bhut hated having to peel the skins. A few months ago the supermarket had some boxed up for sale and the label showed one how to eat them by cutting them in half and scooping out the pulp with a spoon. So easy! Now I eat them regularly.

anonymous on August 28, 2012:

Its funny how many of these saying can be used in everyday talk. You got me laughing this morning as I read theses. :)

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on August 05, 2012:

@EMangl: What a pea brain I must be to have overlooked that one!

EMangl on August 04, 2012:

i miss "pea brain" in your list ;-)

poutine on April 13, 2012:

very interesting

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on December 15, 2011:

Well done!

JoyfulReviewer on November 25, 2011:

Clever lens idea ... nicely done!

mrducksmrnot on September 06, 2011:

A Peachy lens for sure.

BlogsWriter on April 28, 2011:

This is such an interesting collaboration of fruits with proverbs - well done.

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on April 28, 2011:

Fun lens - and the fruit look delicious!

Ann Hinds from So Cal on January 30, 2011:

We utter these phrases and don't give any thought to what's behind them. Great job and interesting reading.

dwnovacek on January 29, 2011:

This is indeed a unique and thought-provoking lens. Angel Blessed!

Patricia on January 27, 2011:

Nicely done! It is nice to meet another Rocket mom.

AuthorNormaBudden on January 26, 2011:

This is an interesting and unique - in my opinion - idea for a lens. I enjoyed it's beauty and its simplicity. Angel belssed and featured on Wings of an Angel.

capriliz lm on January 25, 2011:

"Stop cherry picking" is probably one of my favorites that I use on occasion! Lovely lens and good debates.

TheresaMarkham on January 23, 2011:

Fascinating and fun lens about fruit & proverbs! Wonderful job!

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on January 23, 2011:

@JanieceTobey: Thank you so much for blessing this lens, Janiece

JanieceTobey on January 23, 2011:

I had no idea we used fruit so much in our English sayings! I love all your photos and html! Thanks for featuring my Favorite Quotes lens here! Blessed!

GiftsBonanza on January 22, 2011:

Another australian here... a common australian saying is, she'll be apples - meaning everything will be okay. Great proverbs and saying - some of which I didn't know!

rlivermore on January 22, 2011:

You took an everyday subject like fruit and made it very interesting. English truly is a colorful language.

Jeanette from Australia on January 21, 2011:

Jeanette here from Australia :-) I love fruit, English and this lens! Quite unique.

Related Articles