eat humble pie

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eat humble pie

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 humble pie in the board meeting tomorrow. I think Ellen is a perfectionist because the thought of having to eat humble pie terrifies her.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat humble pie

to act very humble when one is shown to be wrong. I think I'm right, but if I'm wrong, I'll eat humble pie. You think you're so smart. I hope you have to eat humble pie.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat humble pie

If someone eats humble pie, they admit that they have been wrong and apologize. The Queen's Press secretary was forced to eat humble pie yesterday and publicly apologize to the duchess. The critics were too quick to give their verdict on us. We hope they'll be eating humble pie before the end of the season. Note: Humble pie is sometimes used in other structures with a similar meaning. After their victory, he took delight in handing out large helpings of humble pie to just about everyone. Note: `Umbles' is an old word for the guts and offal (= organs such as the liver) of deer. When rich people had the good parts of the meat to eat, the `umbles' were made into a pie for their servants. As `umbles' pie was eaten by `humble' people, the two words gradually became confused. `Humble pie' came to be used to refer to something humiliating or unpleasant.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat humble pie

make a humble apology and accept humiliation.
Humble pie is from a mid 19th-century pun based on umbles , meaning ‘offal’, which was considered to be an inferior food.
1998 Spectator A white youth behind us did shout racial abuse. But…after the game was over his companions forced him to come up to Darcus to eat humble pie.
See also: eat, humble, pie

ˌeat humble ˈpie

(British English) (American English eat ˈcrow) say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made: I had to eat humble pie when Harry, who I said would never have any success, won first prize.This comes from a pun on the old word umbles, meaning ‘offal’ (= the inside parts of an animal), which was considered inferior food.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat humble pie

To be forced to apologize abjectly or admit one's faults in humiliating circumstances.
See also: eat, humble, pie

eat crow/humble pie/dirt, to

To acknowledge an embarrassing error and humiliatingly abase oneself. All these expressions date from the early nineteenth century, eating crow from America and eating humble pie and dirt from Britain. The origin of the first is not known, although it is generally acknowledged that the meat of a crow tastes terrible. A story cited by Charles Funk and published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1888 claims that toward the end of the War of 1812, during a temporary truce, an American went hunting and by accident crossed behind the British lines, where he shot a crow. He was caught by an unarmed British officer who, by complimenting him on his fine shooting, persuaded him to hand over his gun. The officer then pointed the gun and said that as punishment for trespassing the American must take a bite out of the crow. The American obeyed, but when the officer returned his gun, he took his revenge and made the Briton eat the rest of the bird. The source of humble pie is less far-fetched; it is a corruption of (or pun on) umble-pie, “umbles” being dialect for the heart, liver, and entrails of the deer, which were fed to the hunt’s beaters and other servants while the lord and his guests ate the choice venison. This explanation appeared in 1830 in Vocabulary of East Anglia by Robert Forby. The analogy to eating dirt is self-evident. It appeared in Frederick W. Farrar’s Julian Home (1859): “He made up for the dirt they had been eating by the splendour of his entertainment.”
See also: crow, eat, humble, pie