Eat one's words

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Eat one's words : Phrases


To admit that what you said was wrong. To retreat in a humiliating way.


Trudy said that Joe would never succeed with his humour website, but after seeing his site reach 6 million hits per month, she had to
eat her words.


God eateth not his word when he hath once spoken is the first recorded use of this expression, in a 1571 religious work.

Earliest instance of people literally eating their words: In 1370 the Pope sent two delegates to Bernabo Visconti bearing a rolled parchment, informing him that he had been communicated. Infuriated, Visconti arrested the delegates and made them eat the parchment - words, lead seal and all.

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