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Eat Humble Pie

Today’s idiom is to eat humble pie. The word humble means modest. A pie is a pastry shell filled with fruit, meat, cheese or other ingredients. Together, the phrase to eat humble pie means to apologize and face humiliation for a mistake one has made.

Here is a headline from a recent newspaper article demonstrating the use of this idiom:

Rupert Murdoch forced to eat humble pie (Source: Toronto Sun, Published: 19 July 2011, Authors: Mohammed Abbas and Kate Holton)

This headline refers to when Murdoch apologized for a recent high-profile phone hacking scandal. From the headline, we can assume that his apology was a humiliating experience. In other words, he was someone who was on top of the world but his scandal and apology made him look and feel
small. He had to eat humble pie.
Here are some other sample sentences demonstrating the use of the expression to eat humble pie:

Fritz thinks that he is right but, if he isn’t, he is going to have to
eat humble pie.
When the affair became public, the Prime Minister had to
eat humble pie.

Originally, the expression to
eat humble pie referred to a pie made of inferior food, namely internal organs of deer and boar. In medieval times, this pie was a dish eaten by the lower class. If you were of the upper class, eating humble pie would bring you down to a lower level. Therefore, the idiom to eat humble pie.

As you can see, not all pies are that delicious after all!

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