Eating Crow

I know for a fact that I am right, but if not, I’ll be the first to eat crow.”

Most likely, you have heard this idiom at one time or another.

What does it mean?

Well, maybe this will shed some light on it for you.

The term in Wikipedia is defined as: “to display total humility, especially when shown to be wrong.”

Makes sense.

But, where did the quirky saying come from or originate?

According to World Wide Words,

The origin seems fairly obvious: the meat of the crow, being a carnivore, is presumably rank and extremely distasteful, and the experience is easily equated to the mental anguish of being forced to admit one’s fallibility.”


In addition, according to Wikipedia, there is another possible source for this saying’s origin:

Another possible connection comes from a short story by Rudyard Kipling. In his story ‘The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes’ Morrowbie Jukes falls into a place from which he cannot escape. Another man trapped there catches wild crows and eats them, but Morrowbie in his pride declares, ‘I shall never eat crow!’ After days of nothing to eat, his hunger and desperation finally forces him to do what he swore he would never do – literally eat crow.”

There you have it. Whether you eat crow or humble pie, occasionally we find ourselves needing to retract our stubborn opinions or perspectives and humble ourselves that we may just be in error.

Proverbs 11: 12 - “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Psalm 25:9 – “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.”