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Apple-pie Order


Prim and precise order.

The origin of this phrase is still doubtful. Some suggest cap-à-pie, like a knight in complete armour. Some tell us that apples made into a pie are quartered and methodically arranged when the cores have been taken out. Perhaps the suggestion made above of nap-pe-pli (French, nappes pliées, folded linen, neat as folded linen, Latin, plico, to fold) is nearer the mark.

It has also been suggested that “Apple-pie order” may be a corruption of alpha, beta, meaning as orderly as the letters of the alphabet.

“Everything being in apple-pie order, … Dr. Johnson … proposed that we should accompany him … to MʹTassa’s kraal.”—Adventures in Mashonaland, p. 294 (1893).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Apostles Creed (The)
Apostolic Fathers
Apostolic Majesty
Appeal to the Country (An)
Appian Way
Apple (Newton and the)
Apple-john (An)
Apple-pie Bed
Apple-pie Order
April Fool
April Gentleman (An)
April Squire (An)
A priori [Latin, from an antecedent]
Apron-string Tenure (An)
A propos de bottes (French)
Aqua Regia [royal water]
Aqua Tofana or Acqua Tofanĭca