baby's arms, and apples - from where?
October 16, 2007 3:22 PM   Subscribe

What's the source of "a baby's arm holding an apple"?

Just saw it again in last week's Tom Tomorrow which reminded me of where I heard it first, "What Do You Want From Life" by the Tubes. That song's lyrics are what come up first in a Google search, but I'm wondering if that's the original?
posted by Rash to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've got an example from 1992 using that phrase to describe a large penis. I always thought it was delightfully obscene, which is why I remembered it. That's rather later than The Tubes, though.
posted by Nelson at 3:27 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: Really, unknowncommand? I read that, but it was a long time ago.
posted by Rash at 3:39 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: But there it is, on the second line -- wondering if Lenny was first...
posted by Rash at 3:41 PM on October 16, 2007

I have tried to work this out myself (a long time ago) without success. I'm certain it pre-dates Bruce: the first time I heard the phrase it was attributed to Hemmingway, but I doubt he invented it either. I've always assumed it's bawdy sailor talk. I look forward to seeing if anyone here can name an antecedent.
posted by hot soup girl at 4:52 PM on October 16, 2007

Someone must have said it in a 'Carry On' movie sometime. Surely the phrase is a century old.....
posted by Tixylix at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2007

Fairly sure I first heard it in "Pump Up The Volume", a 1990 Christian Slater movie.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:49 PM on October 16, 2007

In Pump Up The Volume the line is "Is it as big as a baby's arm?". I'm fairly sure there's no mention of an apple.
posted by patricio at 2:03 AM on October 17, 2007

in austin power's goldmember, there's a bit where you can see austin's and mini-me's silhouettes behind a curtain. mini-me is standing in front of austin and eats an apple. the resulting shadow is in a very naughty place.
posted by kidsleepy at 6:12 AM on October 17, 2007

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