Teaching grandmother to suck eggs
Teaching grandmother to suck eggs is an English language saying meaning that a person is giving advice to someone else about a subject of which they are already familiar (and probably more so than the first person).
Origins of the phrase
"You would have me teach my Grandame to suck Eggs"
Notable early uses
- The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Henry Fielding (1749):
“I remember my old schoolmaster, who was a prodigious great scholar, used often to say, Polly Matete cry Town is my daskalon. The English of which, he told us, was, That a child may sometimes teach his grandmother to suck eggs”
- Letter from Percy Bysshe Shelley to Leigh Hunt, 15 August 1819:
“But what am I about? If my grandmother sucks eggs, was it I who taught her?”
The use of the phrase "Suck-egg" for "a silly person" dates back to 1609, in the OED.
- "The Free Dictionary". Retrieved 2009-05-07..
- "The Free Dictionary". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "Teaching grandmother to suck eggs: Meaning, Origin". Word Histories. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- Henry Fielding. "The History of Tom Jones a Foundling, Chapter 12". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "alt.usage.english". Retrieved 2009-05-07.