Definition of numbles in English:


(also umbles)

plural noun

  • The entrails of an animal, especially a deer, as used for food.

    • ‘The original umbles were the innards of the deer: the liver, heart, entrails and other second-class bits.’
    • ‘People translate the defunct word ‘umbles’ for the innards of a deer into ‘humble’, as in ‘humble pie’.’
    • ‘Such a pie was originally made from umbles (the innards of a deer) and was so recognized until the 19c.’
    • ‘So in the 15th century numbles lost its initial ‘n’ and became umbles, possibly also through confusion with the supposed French word l' umbles (from lumbles).’
    • ‘Another, archaic, English word for insides, especially those of deer, was ‘umbles’, a term which survives in the expression ‘to eat humble pie’, meaning to be apologetic or submissive.’
    gut, guts, entrails, viscera
    View synonyms


Middle English (denoting the back and loins of a deer): from Old French, from Latin lumbulus, diminutive of lumbus ‘loin’.