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Meaning of “Apple-Pie Order” phrase of Idiom, definition and synonyms use in sentence for kids and students.

Apple-Pie Order

“Put the craft a little into apple-pie order.” —MARRYAT: Jacob Faithful (1835).

To be “in apple-pie order,” or “as orderly as an apple-pie,” means anything which is arranged precisely and neatly in perfect order, and thus pleasing to the sight ; but why should an apple-pie be more orderly than any other pie ?

Languages are often modified, sometimes imperceptibly, by the impingement of foreign words and phrases on the native tongue. The English language has been no exception to this rule, for in the course of its history it has received many percussions from the neighbouring and much-related French language.

Our present phrase is a case in point. “Apple-pie,” it is suggested, is an Anglicized corruption of the French phrase “nappe-pliee,” which means a folded tablecloth or other linen. Since these folded pieces would suggest to the mind the idea of an orderly and regular arrangement of things, it would be popular, in the days when Old French lingered in English circles, to speak of anything resembling such an arrangement as being in “nappe-pliee” order, which, in the course of time, would be changed through phonetic corruption into “apple-pie” order.

Strong support is given to this theory by a popular form of practical joke which is performed by the folding back, from bottom to top, of the under-sheet of a bed, so that on getting into bed one finds it impossible to stretch one’s legs farther than half-way ; and therefore the bed must be remade. This joke is called an “apple-pie bed” ; and the only possible explanation seems to be the foregoing, namely, `nappe-pliee.”


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