Pepper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wonders why something valuable to someone is called the apple of their eye. The expression apple of one’s eye dates back to the ninth century. It comes from misunderstanding the pupil of the eye as a sphere and not an aperture. Similarly, the French word for pupil is prunelle, or little plum. The word pupil itself comes from Latin pupilla, or little doll, because if you look deeply into someone’s eyes, you’ll see a tiny reflection of yourself. For the same reason, the expression to look babies at each other referred to the way lovers look into each others’ eyes, close enough to see themselves. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Bottled Sunshine (episode #1512) 11/19/2018: If you catch your blue jeans on a nail, you may find yourself with a winklehawk. This term, adapted into English from Dutch, means "an... [more]
- Care Package (episode #1511) 11/12/2018: Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of... [more]
- Ding-Ding Man (episode #1509) 10/29/2018: In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying... [more]
- Take Tea for the Fever (episode #1508) 10/22/2018: Silence comes in many forms. Writer Paul Goodman says there is, for example, the noisy silence of "resentment and self-recrimination," and the helpful, participatory silence... [more]