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To eat Humble Pie

To admit that you are wrong, possibly facing great shame.
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’!

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.

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