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Monday, 11 January 2016

A is for applesauce

Did you know "applesauce" (or "apple sauce") is a mild curse? From Slang Of The 1920'S:

Applesauce- an expletive same as horsefeathers, As in "Ah applesauce!"
Horsefeathers - an expletive ; same usage as applesauce

Well, THAT's not helpful.

Will Rogers wrote in The Illiterate Digest (1924), "I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce."

One of the definitions in Urban Dictionary (the clean meaning) is "An early 90s slang word for 'ridiculous' or 'nonsense'." Well, no, it's from much earlier, but at least this narrative provides something more than a circular definition.

Shot in the Dark Mysteries has posted 1920s Slang Terms and Definitions:
Applesauce: A mild curse, like “darn” (also, "Horsefeathers!")

The term had gotten new life from the US Supreme Court, of all places. From the Washington Post:

Justice Antonin Scalia clearly gets a kick out of writing his pointed, colorful dissents for the Supreme Court, and his minority opinion in [2015's] King v. Burwell decision is no exception.

With characteristic vigor, the panel’s most conservative justice lashed out at his colleagues for concluding that the Affordable Care Act allows people on state insurance exchanges established by the federal government to receive subsidies. The opinion offers several new candidates for a master list of Scalia’s best turns-of-phrase, which should be published as a book as far as we are concerned. One example: the majority’s reasoning? “Pure applesauce,” he wrote.

A recent clue on the game show JEOPARDY! in the category Compound Words was this: "Nonsense, or a pippin stewed to a pulp, sweetened & spiced." No one got this $2000 clue.

Incidentally, my father-in-law makes very good apple sauce!



  1. I can hear Spanky, of Little Rascals fame, saying "Ah, applesauce..."

  2. I've always loved this as a mild expletive, but nowadays it's pretty tame. "Real" applesauce is yummy, though!

  3. I think I have heard that term used in a commercial lately. Not sure if it's for insurance or phone bills of some sort.
    There is nothing like good homemade applesauce with a nice pork chop or two...okay, now I'm hungry.

  4. Translated in my own language it gives: appelsap ... and here in The Netherlands there is a kind of saying: "mama appelsap"... not in relation to your explantion but totaly different...

    It is used when songlyrics are replaced with (most of the time funny) words, that sound alike.

  5. Loved all this great info on Applesauce Roger! I've got a couple jars of homemade sauce from our son's apples in the cupboard. Politics! Pure applesauce indeed!

  6. Interesting, that I haven't known!
    I like real applesauce.
    Greetings from Germany (with Russian ABC)

  7. Applesauce - staple for Sunday lunch, with fries and chicken, when my kids were small and I was a student - never got tired of it!

  8. Fun post for A ~ delicious!

    Wishing you a joyful week ~ ^_^

  9. Applesauce eh? I never heard that slang expression. Thanks!

    Applause for ABC Wednesday in its 9th year!

  10. Aaww, your full of Applesauce! No wait, thats ME! Sometimes in more ways than one.
    I actually made a batch of real applesauce last night with crispy Braeburns. Had some with cheesy Lime Chicken for supper tonight!

  11. Ha Ha apple sauce! I wish I'd known that when I was trying to find suitable words to use in front of the kids at certain times :)
    Thank you for letting me join in the fun today.
    Wren x

  12. I'm not a fan of applesauce, and I believe that most proprietary ketchups contain quite an amount of it together with tomato...
    My "A" stands for Astypalaia Island in Greece.

  13. Amazing! Love etymology, so this was interesting to read.

  14. Very interesting! Someone was very imaginative to use applesauce for his/her swear word.

  15. good one, as always! I waited until the last minute to get mine up, but I did it... : )

  16. Learned a new "word" today. Thanks for sharing. My word for A is Art

  17. Didn't know so much about applesauce!
    For me the word defines the yummy 'sauce' of the fruit that keeps the doc away :P