ENGLISCH/883: Questions to Mrs Gobbledygook (181) Humble Pie (SB)


181 What does "Humble pie" mean?

Dear Mrs Gobbledygook

Some time ago I read an article about Peter Frampton, who was a famous rock star in the late seventieth. Frampton, it said, never wanted to be a rock star; he just wanted to play the guitar and sing. A guitar player from the age of eight, he left school at 16 and joined a South London band called "The Herd", which hat several hits in Europe. In 1969, he and Steve Marriott formed "Humble Pie, a band that didn't do much in Britain, but was successful in the U.S.

What I would like to know is, what does "Humble Pie" really mean and is it meant to be a symbol of his life?

Yours sincerely

Frits L. (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Dear Mr L

The name of the band "Humble pie" derives from the idiom "to eat humble pie".

Someone "eats humble pie" if he or she makes a humble (that means a rather modest) apology and accepts humiliation.

The term is a word-play on "umbles", an archaic expression for the internal organs of an animal, considered to be below-standard food.

Traditionally, after a hunt, the lord and his household dined on the best meat, while the huntsman and his assistant ate a pie made of umbles.


Miranda Gobbledygook

05 January 2010