Apple Polishing

What is the meaning of the phrase apple polishing?

By Mr. Raja, Trichy, India, (27th Dec.2006).

It means flattery. Believe it or not, this is an expression which owes its origin to the practice followed by school children. What is it that people do in order to win the approval of their superiors? They either give them gifts or flatter them. Some school going children did the same thing in order to be in the teacher's good books. These kids took apples to school and polished them till they gleamed. Then they presented them to the class teacher! They hoped that by doing this, the teacher would overlook their poor performance in class and instead give them good marks.

Here are a few examples:

• Vann’s apple-polishing didn't get her anywhere.

• Apple-polishing is something that my boss detests.

• People who indulge in apple-polishing are called apple polishers.

• Vanuatu, the apple polisher, doesn't know how silly he looks.

• Jana’s apple polishers surrounded her as soon as she stepped out of her car.

• When he ran out of money the apple polishers left him.

Do not use this word in formal contexts. It is considered slang.

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