eat humble pie

eat humble pie

Meaning

  • To become very humble in behaviour when someone points out a wrong doing by the person.
  • To admit an error and become submissive and apologetic in doing so.
  • When someone enforces an apology after a wrong has been committed.

Example Sentences

  1. I know for certain that the appliance should not be handled this way but if I turn out to be wrong then I’ll eat humble pie.
  2. One may often think that they are smarter than the others but such people always end up eating humble pie.
  3. The lawyer had to eat humble pie in the court because the facts he presented were wrong.

Origin
In the United Kingdom, what is known as offal meat which is the liver, heart, entrails of an animal was known as numbles in the early 14th century. Speculation is that the pies made from numbles eventually be came to know umbles through metanalysis (the process of change in the sound and the use of a word in the English language). Since 1330 the mention of numble or umble pies is common. Samuel Pepys used it in his diary at least on two occasions.

The word humble as an adjective means to have a low self-esteem. So the word play could have been to eat umble pie when feeling humble, which is a likely possibility of being the origin of the phrase.

E 5 Thoughts

5 Thoughts

I have learnt so much. Never knew about such a site.

- Abigail Owusu Opoku March 10, 2021

My understanding has always been that the word ‘umble’ (not numble) came to us, along with so many others, from the French after the Norman Conquest. It was an Anglicised version of ‘ombles’ the French word for a deer’s intestines. An umble pie came to be made of intestines from other animals as well as deer. A well regarded meal, it often graced the Christmas table!

- Trines Ward December 3, 2020

I respectfully disagree with your definition of humble as having low self-esteem. Sharing a root with humus, which means soil or dirt, as well as humanity, I understand humility as being grounded or centered and having essential value along with all that exists. This awareness of the goodness of all things increases one’s regard for fellow humans, animals, and the cosmos – elevating all rather than diminishing any individual (including self). Thank you!

- Erick October 17, 2020

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- Rahul Shah July 3, 2018

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- Liam May 16, 2017

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Idiom of the Day

clean slate

Meaning: to wipe the past out and begin afresh

Example: The criminal has completed his sentence and has come out as a clean slate. Read on

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