Motherhood and Apple Pie

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Illuminatus, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to know if the expression 'like motherhood and apple-pie' is used in US/UK.

    There is this lecture about Sustainable Development and it mentions:

    Sustainability is “motherhood” and “apple pie”

    I've no idea what it means here. Could anyone please explain?

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    I would say this is well-understood in British English, but its origin is in American English. As no-one could possibly object to the heart-warming ideas of motherhood and apple pie, this phrase is used to indicate that whatever is being referred to (in this case 'sustainability') is praiseworthy and desirable.
     
  3. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Thanks, Elwintee!

    So, the phrase just conveys images of warmth and kindness?

    Considering that you call it well recognized, it is very poorly documented on the Net!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
  5. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    I don't think I would say it is well-known in BE, although most people would understand it. It does sound very American to me.
     
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I think in BrE I've generally heard the phrase used ironically to modify nouns such as "issue" or "status".

    If something is described as "motherhood-and-apple-pie" (or just, sometimes, "motherhood") then it is, by definition, such a Good Thing that it can't be criticised.
     
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Try this in a search engine to see how the term is often used in a dismissive way*:




    * Overly sensitive Keynesians should not read search results while operating machinery.
     

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