Eating Crow




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Eating Crow : Phrases



Meaning:

To be proven wrong.


Example:

With the fall of the Soviet Union, the communists are
eating crow.


Origin:

An article published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1888 claims that, towards the end of the war of 1812, an American went hunting and by accident crossed behind the British lines, where he shot a crow.

He was caught by a British officer who, complimenting him on his fine shooting, persuaded him to hand over his gun. This officer then leveled his gun and said that as a punishment the American must take a bite of the crow. The American obeyed, but when the British officer returned his gun he took his revenge by making him eat the rest of the bird.

This is such an interesting explanation of the phrase's origin that it seems a shame to point out that the original expression is not recorded until the 1850s, and that its original form was to "eat boiled crow," whereas the story makes no mention of boiling the bird.

It also seems improbable that the English officer would have returned the gun after forcing the American to take a bite of the bird under gunpoint.

In reality, "crow" is a word that refers to the intestines of an animal especially when used for food. The British English equivalent is "eating humble (or umble) pie."





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