coals to Newcastle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Newcastle upon Tyne (in Britain) was a major coal-exporting city, so sending coal there would be pointless.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

coals to Newcastle pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) A pointless venture, in the sense of sending something to a place where it is made, or where they already have an abundance.
    Synonym: owls to Athens

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]