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"old sayings"

Interested in the origins of "old sayings"?
We use so many of them, passed down from one generation to another, yet we rarely know where they originate from.
If we find ourselves using one, then WWW it and post any findings!
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To eat humble pie

Postby brillo » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:08 pm

To act submissively and apologetically, especially in admitting an error.

In the USA, since the mid 19th century, anyone who had occasion to 'eat his words' by humiliatingly recanting something would be said to 'eat crow' (previously 'eat boiled crow'). Here in the UK we 'eat humble pie'. The unpleasantness of eating crow, roasted, boiled or otherwise, seems obvious, but then, what about humble pie?
In the 14th century, the numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, noubles) was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails, of animals, especially relating to that of the Deer – and is now called offal By the 15th century this had singled down to the expression umbles.
In the 15th century umbles( offal) were used as an ingredient in pies, although the first record of 'umble pie' in print is as late as the 17th century. Samuel Pepys makes many references to such pies in his diary. "I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done."and again in1663: "Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good."It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.
The adjective humble, meaning 'of lowly rank' or 'having a low estimate of oneself' derived separately from umbles, which derives from Latin and Old French words for loins. (Incidentally, if you feel like girding your loins and aren't sure exactly where they are, the OED coyly describes them as 'the parts of the body that should covered with clothing'). The similarity of the sound of the words, and the fact that umble pie was often eaten by those of humble situation could easily have been the reason for 'eat humble pie' to have come to have its current idiomatic meaning.

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Re: "old sayings"

Postby bobbyboy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:56 pm

:scratch :scratch :scratch :scratch
:scratch HISTORICAL TRUTHS::Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,and still smelled pretty good by June. :scratch :scratch However they were starting to smell,so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour.Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,then all the other sons and men,then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.Hence the saying.' Don't throw the baby out with the bath water'. :scratch :scratch

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