English language school in Central London
Whatch our school videos
Improve your English skill with us!
Whatch our school videos
High quality English language courses
Best English language School in London
Quality accommodation for our English course student

School BrochuresFree English TestStudent TestimonialsVideo TestimonialsSchool Videos

To eat Humble Pie

Idiom
To eat Humble Pie
Meaning
To admit that you are wrong, possibly facing great shame.
Origin

To eat Humble Pie

In the UK in the 14th century, ‘numbles’ was the name given to the entrails of animals (what we now call offal). By the 15th century, this word became ‘umbles’. In fact, from 1330 onwards, there are references to both words in Middle English and Old English texts. ‘Umbles’ were a key ingredient in pies, though the first reference of an ‘umble pie’ was only in the 17th century, where the Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary:

Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good. (1663)

I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done. (1662)

In a separate meaning, the word ‘humble’, meaning ‘of low rank or status’, was derived from ‘umble’. The fact that the words sounded so similar, and because umble pie was perhaps often traditionally eaten by the ‘humbler’ sections of society, is possibly why the idiom ‘to eat humble pie’ came to assume its current meaning.

In American English, a similar phrase exists, which is ‘to eat crow’ – perhaps even less appetising than an ‘umble pie’!
Examples

The President had to eat humble pie and publicly apologise to the Queen for his statement last week.

After boasting that his company would make the highest profits, he was forced to eat humble pie at the end of year records.

Those who think they are the smartest person around, often end up eating humble pie.

Recent Updates EN

Very flexible and specifically focused on what I needed to improve on. Conor...
To go cold turkey
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Idiom To go cold turkey Meaning To abruptly or suddenly give up a habit or a...
This is my second time to study in Bloomsbury. And I'm so happy to came back...
Pinterest
Summer English Courses in London
Student eZone
Agent Area
Bloomsbury Blog