carry coals to Newcastle

(redirected from Carrying coals to Newcastle)

carry coals to Newcastle

To do something redundant, frivolous, or unnecessary. Newcastle was once a major coal supplier. We definitely don't need to bring any toys when we go over their house—they have so many that bringing more would be like carrying coals to Newcastle.
See also: carry, coal, Newcastle

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 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

coals to Newcastle, to carry/bring

To do something that is unnecessary or superfluous. The Newcastle referred to is the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a seaport in northeastern England that was given a charter to mine coal by Henry III in 1239 and became a major coal center. By the seventeenth century this metaphor for bringing an unneeded thing was current, and it remained so in all English-speaking countries. There were (and are) equivalents in numerous languages. In French it is to carry water to a river.
See also: bring, carry, coal
References in classic literature ?
"Sure, sir," answered the barber, "you are too wise a man to carry a broken head thither; for that would be carrying coals to Newcastle."
However curious it may seem for an oil-ship to be borrowing oil on the whale-ground, and however much it may invertedly contradict the old proverb about carrying coals to Newcastle, yet sometimes such a thing really happens; and in the present case Captain Derick De Deer did indubitably conduct a lamp-feeder as Flask did declare.
And 'twould be like carrying coals to Newcastle, to drive those harts to Sherwood!
But isn't selling seaweed to Japan exactly the same as carrying coals to Newcastle? Taking on sushi will be like trying to beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon - fiendishly difficult but, then again, not entirely impossible.
"It's a bit of a case of carrying coals to Newcastle, as our beers are based on the American style of brewing and we were up against much bigger producers."
TALK about carrying coals to Newcastle - this ship is bringing 75,000 tonnes of them.
I THINK the idea of piping electricity from Scotland to Connor''s Quay power station inWales, is ridiculous, it's like carrying coals to Newcastle, or ice to the North Pole.
In a scenario that's very much one of carrying coals to Newcastle, or even cheese to Caerphilly, they've set their sights on grabbing a share of the allAmerican dream by making it big in country music.
remake -- which is rather like carrying coals to Newcastle. The only difference between "Woods" and a slew of American teen slasher movies is in its visual design, which seems unlikely to survive any transatlantic crossing.
Bringing Shakespeare to Stratford must be the theatrical equivalent of carrying coals to Newcastle.
James Stewart gets soused in the 1940 movie "The Philadelphia Story," and Cary Grant, while gamely fixing him yet another drink, mumbles something about "carrying coals to Newcastle." The allusion enriches and amuses: England's Newcastle is a famous coal center - it needs coal the way Stewart's character needs another drink.
"We are looking at being genuinely inventive, and that is what we have done with the Coal." It's not quite carrying coals to Newcastle, but for Kenspeckle it's defi- nitely a canny case of mining the area's industrial past and sugar coating it for the future.
Boats came up from London, carrying coals to Newcastle and taking food back.
WHAT phrase can replace "carrying coals to Newcastle" as the shorthand for total pointlessness, now that the Tyne is indeed a river importing coal?
FOR a period of around 500 years, the North East was possibly the most important coal exporter in the world, so states a new book, Carrying Coals to Newcastle, which tells The Story of the Tanfield Way.