You found out you were wrong. Now you’re going to have to admit it and eat a big ole slice of humble pie. Is that a real thing, though, and does it taste like anything other than humility?
To eat a humble pie, by today’s definition means to swallow one’s pride, but in medieval times humble pie meant swallowing a whole lot more. It was derived from the similar sounding “umble pie” which was a meat pie consisting of organ meats like heart, liver and lungs. Umble came from French word numble, which meant deer innards.
Despite popular perception, umble or -- numble -- was not a low dish eaten by peasants because it was made from innards. Back in the day, those cuts of eat were prized, so eating umble pie was not an act of subservience, but a prime cut of meat. It really doesn't have anything to do with the spirit of the idiom -- it just sounds the same.
Humble and umble are words that developed separately -- umble from French and humble from the Latin word humilem or lowly. Drop the h as the Brits do and the words sound the same and are used similarly. You suddenly have a pun for being humble that really has nothing to do with humility.
As for eating crow, that is an equally humbling image, but fortunately not a real practice. Crows are a scavenger animal, and therefore deemed as inedible. An 1850 humor story tells of a dim farmer tricked into eating crow and is probably the origin of the story. When you say you’ve got to eat crow, you know you’ve messed up.
The next time you step in it, pull up a chair and eat a big old slice of humble pie, crow, your hat, whatever you call it, but most importantly own up to your mistakes, because that’s sometimes harder to swallow than a weird pie.