bushel

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it takes one bad apple to spoil the (whole) bushel

It only takes one person, thing, element, etc., to ruin the entire group, situation, project, etc. Refers to the fact that a rotting apple can cause other apples in close proximity to begin to rot as well. A: "It used to be considered the top research facility in the region, but after one of its researchers was discovered to have plagiarized a number of his papers, the whole department's reputation has been dragged through the mud." B: "Well, it takes just one bad apple to spoil the bushel." I really loved my job, but there was this one jerk there who made life miserable for everyone. It takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bushel, unfortunately.
See also: apple, bad, bushel, one, spoil, take

one bad apple spoils the (whole) bushel

It only takes one person, thing, element, etc., to ruin the entire group, situation, project, etc. Refers to the fact that a rotting apple can cause other apples in close proximity to begin to rot as well. A: "It used to be considered the top research facility in the region, but after one of its researchers was discovered to have plagiarized a number of his papers, the whole department's reputation has been dragged through the mud." B: "Well, just one bad apple spoils the bushel." I really loved my job, but there was this one jerk there who made life miserable for everyone. One bad apple spoils the whole bushel, unfortunately.
See also: apple, bad, bushel, one, spoil

bushel and a peck (and some in a gourd)

Rur. a great deal or amount. (Usually used to answer the question, "How much do you love me?") Mary: How much do you love me? Tom: A bushel and a peck and some in a gourd. We knew that Grandpa loved us a bushel and a peck.
See also: and, bushel, peck

can't carry a tune

 and cannot carry a tune; can't carry a tune in a bushel basket; can't carry a tune in a bucket; can't carry a tune in a paper sack
Fig. [to be] unable to sing a simple melody; lacking musical ability. I wish that Tom wouldn't try to sing. He can't carry a tune. I don't know why Mary's in the choir. She can't carry a tune in a bushel basket. Joe likes to sing in the shower, though he can't carry a tune in a bucket. I'd try to hum the song for you, but I can't carry a tune in a paper sack.
See also: carry, tune

hide one's light under a bushel

Fig. to conceal one's good ideas or talents. (A biblical theme.) Jane has some good ideas, but she doesn't speak very often. She hides her light under a bushel. Don't hide your light under a bushel. Share your thoughts with other people.
See also: bushel, hide, light

hide your light under a bushel

to avoid letting people know that you are good at something, usually because you are shy (often in continuous tenses) I didn't realize you could play the piano - you've been hiding your light under a bushel.
See tan hide, cover a multitude of sins, haven't seen hide nor hair of
See also: bushel, hide, light

hide one's light under a bushel

Show extreme modesty, as in Even after Paul won the scholarship be went on hiding his light under a bushel. This expression, which does not necessarily express approval of this behavior, has its origin in the New Testament (Matthew 5:15): "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick." [Early 1600s]
See also: bushel, hide, light

hide your light under a bushel

Not to reveal hidden abilities. The expression is usually used in advice to reveal those talents and then use them. A bushel was a container for measuring grain. In Matthew 15:15, Jesus said, “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick.”
See also: bushel, hide, light