eat crow(redirected from eat dirt)
To admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame. Ugh, now that my idea has failed, I'll have to eat crow in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat crow terrifies her.
1. . Fig. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I'm going to have to eat crow. I'll be eating crow if I'm not shown to be right.
2. Fig. to be shamed; to admit that one was wrong. When it became clear that they had arrested the wrong person, the police had to eat crow. Mary talked to Joe as if he was an uneducated idiot, till she found out he was a college professor. That made her eat crow.
Also, eat dirt or humble pie . Be forced to admit a humiliating mistake, as in When the reporter got the facts all wrong, his editor made him eat crow. The first term's origin has been lost, although a story relates that it involved a War of 1812 encounter in which a British officer made an American soldier eat part of a crow he had shot in British territory. Whether or not it is true, the fact remains that crow meat tastes terrible. The two variants originated in Britain. Dirt obviously tastes bad. And humble pie alludes to a pie made from umbles, a deer's undesirable innards (heart, liver, entrails). [Early 1800s] Also see eat one's words.
If someone eats crow, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. He wanted to make his critics eat crow. I didn't want to eat crow the rest of my life if my theories were wrong. Note: The usual British expression is eat humble pie.
tv. to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong. Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I’m going to have to eat crow.
To be forced to accept a humiliating defeat.
A meek admission of a mistake. The “humble pie” that we eat when we make a misjudgment or outright error was originally “umble” pie made from the intestines of other less appetizing animal parts. Servants and other lower-class people ate them, as opposed to better cuts. “Umble” became “humble” over the years until eating that pie came to mean expressing a very meek mea culpa. A similar phrase is “eat crow,” the bird being as unpalatable a dish as one's own words.