fall off no apple cart

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macrotis

Senior Member
Turkish
Step by step, Feynman went through the process out loud and told Randi how the trick must have been done. Randi literally fell backwards over his chair and exclaimed, You didn't fall off no apple cart! You didn't get that Swedish Prize for nothing!

Randi clearly praises Feynman, that much I understand, but what does he mean?
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Step by step, Feynman went through the process out loud and told Randi how the trick must have been done. Randi literally fell backwards over his chair and exclaimed, You didn't fall off no apple cart! You didn't get that Swedish Prize for nothing!

    Randi clearly praises Feynman, that much I understand, but what does he mean?
    It's not an idiom I've heard.

    It must mean you are not an ordinary person; you didn't win the Nobel Prize for nothing.

    I think the image is that ordinary things drop off carts all the time. You have to go to trouble to find extraordinary ones.

    The idiom may have died as Britain became industrialized and carts became less common.

    Let's see what other people think.
     
    Well, in AE I often use or hear expressions like "I didn't fall off the tomato truck/apple cart yesterday", which is a way of saying "I've been around for a while, I'm not totally new merchandise, naive and innocent, I know a few things".

    But this seems a little different, because it is saying he did not fall off the apple cart.

    Sorry, I don't think this is avery helpful contribution, but it's all I got ;)!
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, in AE I often use or hear expressions like "I didn't fall off the tomato truck/apple cart yesterday", which is a way of saying "I've been around for a while, I'm not totally new merchandise, naive and innocent, I know a few things".

    But this seems a little different, because it is saying he did not fall off the apple cart.

    Sorry, I don't think this is avery helpful contribution, but it's all I got ;)!
    Hi, badgrammar, I think it's very helpful. Randy's saying you're no idiot - you din't win the Nobel Prize for nothing.
     
    Yeah, but in the way I described it, you only start getting smart once you're off the cart and into the action, so if you're still on the cart, you can't be smart (according to the way I use the expression).

    But I'm not disputing the understanding of the phrase in question, that is definitely what he meant. :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Why are apple-carts so popular in idioms?

    He didn't fall off the apple-cart.
    He's not a fool, he's no innocent, he's nobody's fool.

    The wheel fell off the apple-cart.
    Something that was going really well suddenly started to go wrong.

    That's really upset the apple-cart.
    That's thrown our plans into chaos. I suppose this is a bit like the wheel coming off, though for me it always carried the image of someone or something bumping into a display of apples on a hand-cart and sending them tumbling along a cobbled street.
     
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