To Carry Coals to Newcastle (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "To Carry Coals to Newcastle"?

To carry coals to Newcastle means to do something pointless and superfluous.

Newcastle upon Tyne (England) was a well-known coal-mining area and the United Kingdom's first coal exporting port. With so much coal already in Newcastle, taking more there was pointless.
carry coals to Newcastle (Origin)

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Ready for the Test?

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.
Next lesson >

See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

Page URL