Umble Pie

Posted by ESC on November 15, 1999

In Reply to: Origin of "Eating Humble Pie" posted by Brent Schlachter on November 15, 1999

: Can anyone tell me the origin of this phrase?
: Also could you tell me where to look to prove the
: origin of the phrase?

: Thank You
: Brent Schlachter

HUMBLE PIE This explanation of "humble pie" comes from the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (second edition, HarperCollins, Publishers). A side note: my family comes from southern West Virginia. The older generation always pronounced humble as 'umble. I wonder if that's something we brought with us from England.

"humble pie. Here we have a play upon words which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror. First, the pie referred to in 'eating humble pie' was really umble pie, made from the umbles - heart, liver and gizzard - of a deer. It was made to be eaten by servants and huntsmen, while the lord of the manor and his guests dined on venison. Thus a person who had to eat umble pie was in a position of inferiority -- one who had to humble himself before his betters. The pun resulting from umble and humble is even more precise when you recall that in several British dialects - notably Cockney - the h in humble would be silent. Actually, the two words come from quite different roots, humble from the Latin 'humilis'(low or slight), and 'umbie' from the Latin 'lumulus' (loin)."