I've heard this over the radio. A Christian woman said Jesus was "working on her mind" as she "learned the art of apologizing" after having children. The last word she said was "[...] served with a side of humble pie."

I know that "eat humble pie" means to aplogize and face humiliation, but is that whole phrase "served ... pie" an idiom?

I don't remember what goes in the square brakets around the triple dots; what will that be?

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    If something you did was metaphorically "served with a slice/side of humble pie" that normally just means you ate humble pie while doing it (i.e. - whatever it was, you experienced feelings of humility while doing it). The served extension isn't exactly an idiom in itself - it's just an obvious but trivial variation on an established idiomatic theme, which would be recognised as such by any native speaker so long as they knew humble pie in the first place. Jan 25, 2017 at 16:03
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    Thank you, @FumbleFingers . So it's not an idiom but it's a trivial extension sometimes, is this it? // Now I think she did that because she felt like she had to make a "cool" ending for her story.
    – Kim YuJin
    Jan 26, 2017 at 2:49
  • "To eat humble pie" is an idiom for "admitting with humility that one was wrong". The speaker is playing on the fact that the idiom refers to food when she uses the word "served". We are served food at a restaurant or when we are guests. The word served there is not "trivial" in the sense of meaningless and superfluous but in the sense that it was "an easy play on words". Jan 26, 2017 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


... el·lip·sis əˈlipsis/ noun the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues. a set of dots indicating an ellipsis. Google Dictionary

Words for you to fill in because you may have a different answer:

Everyone loves pie. The best pie in the world is... (you 'fill-in' your favourite flavour.)

Words that are not necessary but were a part of the phrase quoted: ... served with a side of humble pie." The [...] says the entire sentence wasn't quoted because it was unnecessary for the reader to understand.

The sentence could have read, "When I finally understood that I had been haughty, the minister admonished me and served me with a side of humble pie." We did not need to know about the minister to understand the part you quoted.

Humble Pie is as stated simply an idiom for recognising that you made an error and that you feel sorrow over it. You are humbled by your error.

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    Thanks for letting me know what the square brackets around the dots thingy was. But I will be more appreciated if you tell me what's your best guess you think will be in the ellipsis?
    – Kim YuJin
    Jan 26, 2017 at 2:45
  • Heh, I think someone might have to eat some humble pie themselves here. Jan 26, 2017 at 12:07
  • @KimYuJin It was in my answer. sentence could have read, "When I finally understood that I had been haughty, the minister admonished me and served me with a side of humble pie." Teacher KSHuang is making the comment that you did not really read the answer so that you might eat humble pie. Not necessary though! :wink: I am hoping that you understand the pie is imaginary.
    – WRX
    Jan 26, 2017 at 12:39

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