coals to Newcastle, to carry/bring

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

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

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

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, 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

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