carry coals to Newcastle


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carry coals to Newcastle

Prov. to do something unnecessary; to do something that is redundant or duplicative. (Newcastle is an English town from which coal was shipped to other parts of England.) Mr. Smith is so rich he doesn't need any more money. To give him a gift certificate is like carrying coals to Newcastle.
See also: carry, coal, Newcastle

carry/take coals to Newcastle

  (British)
to take something to a place or a person that has a lot of that thing already
Usage notes: Newcastle is a town in Northern England which is in an area where a lot of coal was produced.
Exporting pine to Scandinavia is a bit like carrying coals to Newcastle.
See also: carry, coal, Newcastle

carry coals to Newcastle

Do or bring something superfluous or unnecessary, as in Running the sprinkler while it's raining, that's carrying coals to Newcastle. This metaphor was already well known in the mid-1500s, when Newcastle-upon-Tyne had been a major coal-mining center for 400 years. It is heard less often today but is not yet obsolete.
See also: carry, coal, Newcastle