apple pie order


apple pie order

Meaning | Synonyms

  • neat and tidy in the arrangement
  • everything in the correct place
  • clean
  • ordered or in perfect order
  • sterile

Example Sentences

  1. My mother is always cleaning. The house is in apple-pie order.
  2. Everything still has to be in apple-pie order, even though he left the army years ago.
  3. When I opened the fridge, everything was arranged in apple-pie order.
  4. They entered the operating theatre and could see that all the instruments they needed were laid out in apple-pie order, ready for them to begin the day.


The origin of this idiom is uncertain. It may have something to do with a French phrase, nappe pliee, meaning ‘neatly folded’. It was first recorded in English in the late 1700s in seafarer Thomas Pasely’s journal. He wrote that the sailors were ‘clean and in apple-pie order on Sundays’. In a later letter from Sir Walter Scott, he mentioned that ‘the children’s garden is in apple-pie order’.

The phrase is informal. The meaning suggests that everything is arranged neatly, in the correct order, and perfectly in place. Also, that everything is sterile or to the highest level of cleanliness.

Share your opinions

What's on your mind?