Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wednesday Words #6

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The cold winds are currently hurling outside my window, sitting with the heating finally on (I gave in yesterday!) My special winter 'Figgy Pudding candle from St Eval Candle Co' burning and wooly socks on- I am ready for you winter.  

The drop in temperature made me think of a rather well known proverb: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. One that I'm sure most of us are used to hearing from our mothers and grandmothers, a plight to eat your fruit, especially this time of year, I wondered where it came from.


Wales seems like an unlikely source for most commonplace English phrases, however there's a fair chance that this little maxim originated there! In 1866 the first sourced printed use of this phrase was in Notes and Queries magazine:
"A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
Around the turn of the century, Elizabeth Wright recorded a Devonian dialect version of the phrase as we know it now:
"Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An' you'll make the doctor beg his bread; or as the more popular version runs: An apple a day Keeps the doctor away."
'Apples have a good claim to promote health. They contain Vitamin C, which aids the immune system, and phenols, which reduce cholesterol. They also reduce tooth decay by cleaning one's teeth and killing off bacteria. It has also been suggested by Cornell University researchers that the quercetin found in apples protects brain cells against neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer's Disease.'
So now we know! Is this phrase new to you? Or like me, did your grandmother used to entice to with an apple, humming this to you? I'd love to start hearing from you about some phrases local or unusual  that you've come across! 

Love Sophie Xx