Eat one’s words

Eat one’s words is an old idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common saying eat one’s words, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Eat one’s words means to retract something one has said, to admit one has stated something that is incorrect, to admit that one has been proven wrong. Related phrases are eats one’s words, ate one’s words, eating one’s words. Eating one’s words carries the connotation of being humiliated or shamed for one’s past opinions or assertions. The expression eat one’s words is an old one; it has been traced back at least as far as the 1570s.

Examples

Just last week, I complained that the “workaholic” narrative was unfair to Lisa, but, um, I’m starting to eat my words. (Salt Lake Magazine)

Perhaps I will be eating my words – but it will not surprise me if we see President Biden working cooperatively with Republicans in the Senate and even the House to tackle at least some of the myriad challenges facing the United States. (Ukrainian Weekly)

But if you are inclined to eat your words and admit carbonara might be a modern dish — possibly even an American one — just hold on. (The Detroit News)

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