Proof is in the Pudding, the

Also: The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Meaning of Idiom ‘The Proof is in the Pudding’

The proof is in the pudding means that the real results of something can only be judged by actual experience or results rather than theory or appearance. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,3Editors of the American Heritage Dictionary. More Word Histories and Mysteries: from Aardvark to Zombie. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.


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Usage

This idiom allows many variations in form such as:

the proof of the pudding will be…

the proof of the pudding can be seen…

the proof of the pudding has to be…

The expression tends to be used in business more often than other circumstances.

Examples Of Use

“This car doesn’t look very powerful but the proof is in the pudding.”

“Sure it was a risky investment but look at how it had paid off. The proof is in the pudding.”

“They say these tax cuts will benefit the middle class but the proof is in the pudding.”

“The proof of the pudding will be the money we save.”

“The proof of the pudding has to be in the profits.”

Origin

Although idioms do not have to make grammatical sense, this idiom is actually a garbled version of the proverb ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating,’ itself a variation that is still heard occasionally.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating means simply that you can only know the quality of a pudding by eating it, not by its appearance. Found in print as early as 1605, this proverb comes from a time when pudding referred not to a creamy dessert but to something more like a sausage or haggis. The fact that the full syntatical version of the idiom still survives allows many grammatical variations. 4Editors of the American Heritage Dictionary. More Word Histories and Mysteries: from Aardvark to Zombie. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
2. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
3, 4. Editors of the American Heritage Dictionary. More Word Histories and Mysteries: from Aardvark to Zombie. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.