Unlike objects or persons, as in Assessing the problems of the neighborhood grocery by examining a giant supermarket is comparing apples and oranges. This metaphor for dissimilarity began as apples and oysters, which appeared in John Ray’s proverb collection of 1670. It is nearly always accompanied by a warning that one cannot compare such different categories.
- Apples and pears
plural noun (Cockney, rhyming slang) stairs Often shortened to apples
- Apples of the hesperides
the golden apples given to Hera as a wedding gift. They were in the safekeeping of the Hesperides and of the dragon Ladon.
- Apples to oranges
noun an unfair comparison, as between things that cannot be evaluated according to the same criteria noun phrase An unfair comparison
applescript language An object-oriented shell language for the Macintosh, approximately a superset of HyperTalk. (1995-12-10)