The proof is in the pudding

Example in use: “I have to be honest, I was a little sceptical about the product you recommended. But I was so impressed when I used it. I guess the proof is in the pudding.”

Meaning: You have to try something out before you can say if it’s good or bad.

Possible German equivalent: Probieren geht über Studieren

Possible origin: This phrase seems to originate from a very old English proverb, possibly as old as the 14th century and the full form of the phrase is, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” So, the only way to find out if the pudding you made was successful is to eat it.

A point to remember is that “pudding” here is not the same type of food as the typical German “pudding”. These days in English, pudding is a word to talk about many different types of both sweet and savoury foods but you might have heard about the English Christmas pudding (sometimes also referred to as plum pudding) where the pudding – a cake mixture including dried fruits and spices – is tightly covered with very fine cotton and then cooked, very slowly, for a long time in a pot with a small amount of water. In the past however, pudding would have been a savoury meat dish similar to haggis or even early sausages! In British English, the word pudding can also be used to mean any desserts.

Pudding / ˈpʊdɪŋ

Welcome again to our weekly series that hopes to go behind the scenes of some rather typical English expressions.