swallow (one's) words

(redirected from swallow words)

swallow (one's) words

To retract or rescind something one has said. He'll be swallowing his words once I show him the sales figures for this quarter. I knew I had to swallow my words when she beat me in that game of chess.
See also: swallow, word

swallow one's words

Take back what one said, as in If they win I'll have to swallow my words. George Farquhar used this idiom in The Inconstant (1702): "I have swallowed my words already; I have eaten them up." For a synonym, see eat one's words.
See also: swallow, word
References in periodicals archive ?
The changes are largely in vocal inflection, and "It Ain't Me, Babe" benefits the most from this rethinking, Dylan's tendency to swallow words giving the tune an added, effective air of resignation.