Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Game-keeper's umbles

Mr. Editor,

our correspondent, Mr. Hammack, having recorded Mr. Pepys's love of "brave venison pasty," whilst asking the derivation of the phrase, "eating humble pie," in reference to a bill of fare of Pepys's age, I venture to submit that the humble pie of that period was indeed the pie named in the list quoted; and not only so, but that it was made out of the "umbles" or entrails of the deer, a dish of the second table, inferior of course to the venison pasty which smoked upon the dais, and therefore not inexpressive of that humiliation which the term "eating humble pie" now painfully describes. The "umbles" of the deer are constantly the perquisites of the game-keeper.

Ecclesfield, Nov. 24, 1849.

-from Notes and Queries, Vol. 1 (6) Dec. 8, 1849, p. 92.

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