eat words

eat words (eat your word, eat my words)


  • to force someone to retract what they have said
  • to admit that a statement you made before is wrong (often publicly)
  • to feel foolish about something that you have said

Example Sentences

  1. I can’t believe that he didn’t trust that we could win. He will have to eat his words.
  2. You said that I would never finish this race. You will have to eat your words.
  3. I can’t believe that my husband remembered to bring home sugar. I will have to eat my words.
  4. I didn’t think that you could do it. I will have to eat my words.
  5. I have had to eat my words about it never snowing in our town.


It is not entirely known where the idiom originated. It was, however, published in John Ray’s English Proverbs (1670). [Second half of 1500s].

The way that the idiom is used today has a negative connotation. However, the phrase appears in the Bible. It means to feast on the word of the Lord. To take it in. Then the Lord said to me, “Human being, eat what you find. Eat this scroll. Then go and speak to the people of Israel.”


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