carry coals to newcastle

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To do something that is unneeded or redundant.

Etymology:

  • Newcastle upon Tyne was a major coal -exporting city, so sending coal there would be pointless.
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1851 However curious it may seem for an oil-ship to be borrowing oil on the whale-ground, and however much it may invertedly contradict the old proverb about carrying coals to Newcastle, yet sometimes such a thing really happens; and in the present case Captain Derick De Deer did indubitably conduct a lamp-feeder as Flask did declare. — Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 81..

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'carry coals to newcastle':

Carry Coals to NewcastleTo bring extra, to do anything pointless and needless
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Nearby phrases

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How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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    "carry coals to newcastle." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Sep. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/carry-coals-to-newcastle_2771>.

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