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eat humble pie British English

Meaning: If you eat humble pie, you admit that you are in the wrong and behave apologetically.

For example:

  • Jim had to eat humble pie after we proved that what he'd said was wrong.

  • Some politicians are so arrogant that they won't eat humble pie even when it's clear they've made a mistake. They just say they were "misinformed".

Note: The American idiom "eat crow" has the same meaning.

Origin: Possibly derives from "umbles" which is an old word for animal organs like kidneys, lungs, intestines, etc. For the wealthier classes, eating an "umbles pie" might have been seen as something similar to a punishment, but it is not known whether this idiom has any real connection to this.

Variety: This is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Jeremy had to eat humble pie because
  1. there was nothing else to eat
  2. he wanted to seem humble
  3. it was clear he was wrong

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