swallow (one's) words(redirected from they swallowed their 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.