The answer’s in the pudding

In the documentary Stand, about NBA player Chris Jackson, this malaphor was uttered. It’s a mashup of “the proof’s in the pudding” (the real worth of something can only be determined by putting it to the test) and “the answer is blowing in the wind” (Bob Dylan lyric – “something we can’t grasp’?).

Speaking of the phrase, “the proof is in the pudding”, here is a nice exchange on NPR about the origin:

BEN ZIMMER: Well, the proof is in the pudding is a new twist on a very old proverb. The original version is the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And what it meant was that you had to try out food in order to know whether it was good.

INSKEEP: Zimmer adds that the word pudding itself has changed. In Britain, dating back centuries, pudding meant more than a sweet dessert.

ZIMMER: Back then, pudding referred to a kind of sausage, filling the intestines of some animal with minced meat and other things – something you probably want to try out carefully since that kind of food could be rather treacherous.

INSKEEP: OK. So, over the years, the original proverb has evolved. The original was the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It was shortened to the proof of the pudding, and then here in America, it morphed again to the proof is in the pudding. Apparently, the proof of the listening is in the correcting.

A big thanks to Mike Ameel for hearing this one and sending it in.


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