coals to Newcastle


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coals to Newcastle

Needless or superfluous action. (Newcastle was long the epicenter of coal mining in England.) Typically used in the phrases "carry coals to Newcastle" and "take coals to Newcastle." Why did you bring DVDs with you when I have a home theater? That's like carrying coals to Newcastle.
See also: coal, Newcastle

coals to Newcastle

something brought or sent to a place where it is already plentiful.
Coal from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England was famously abundant in previous centuries, and carry coals to Newcastle has been an expression for an unnecessary activity since the mid 17th century.
See also: coal, Newcastle

(carry/take) coals to ˈNewcastle

(British English) (supply) something that there is already a lot of: Exporting wine to France would be like taking coals to Newcastle.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the north of England, was once an important coal-mining centre.
See also: coal, Newcastle

coals to Newcastle

Any unnecessary activity. Before the days of railroading, goods and commodities were transported by water. Coal in particular was shipped to port city of Newcastle before being distributed to the rest of England. Therefore, unless you were the captain of a ship laden with coal, carrying that kind of fossil fuel to Newcastle was a waste of your time and energy.
See also: coal, Newcastle
References in periodicals archive ?
He actually went on to sell coals to Newcastle, an idiom still commonly used today to refer to a pointless action.
But while Mexico is the world's largest producer of avocados, this isn't like shipping coals to Newcastle, said authorities, who estimated the California avocado industry will gain $6 million to $24 million a year from the new exports.
Never mind coals to Newcastle, Panesar Foods of West Bromwich is exporting Mexican chilli pepper sauce to the Mexicans, with help from UK Trade & Investment (formerly Trade Partners UK)--the government body dedicated to providing UK companies with global expertise on international trade and investment.
IT'S the musical equivalent of coals to Newcastle - bringing a Beatles show to Liverpool.
Mum-of-two Anita, of Houston, Renfrewshire - who runs Jenier World of Teas in Bridge of Weir - said: "It's a long-distance version of selling coals to Newcastle.
IT MAY seem like taking coals to Newcastle, but a Welsh cheese will be making its way to France tomorrow as part of an unusual fundraising event.
It's not quite coals to Newcastle, but vodka to Bulgaria is a pretty close second.
COALS to Newcastle might best describe the latest venture by Belfast-born Vincent Caldwell, who has broken the mould by being granted a wagering licence and will launch a pari-mutuel betting website and call centre for US punters in time for the Kentucky Derby in May.
IT sounds like a case of taking coals to Newcastle.
ALONG the lines of taking coals to Newcastle and snow to Eskimos, Knowsley-based drinks company Halewood International has been giving vodka to Russians.
It might seem a case of bringing coals to Newcastle but the Bangalore-made whisky has received a welcome reception in the home of Scotch.
Yes, apparently selling, carrying, bringing, or taking coals to Newcastle is an idiom describing a foolhardy or pointless action because historically we produced so much of it.
Which again, seems a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, a phrase that has been around since the 16th century when the area around Newcastle had so much coal it was already exporting the stuff.
WE'VE heard of selling ice to Eskimos and coals to Newcastle but curry to India?
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.