One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Something brought or sent to a place where it is already plentiful.
- ‘It smacks of taking coals to Newcastle but the Forestry Commission hopes it is on to a money spinner by sending wood to Scandinavia.’
- ‘Thanks to the poor harvest in France (it was just too hot over there) he actually exported some Wight garlic to a French company - truly an example of selling coals to Newcastle.’
- ‘It takes a certain kind of cheek for a Russian opera company to bring Carmen to Paris - the operatic equivalent of coals to Newcastle.’
- ‘Although it might sound a bit like selling coals to Newcastle, exporting daffodils to Holland is exactly what bulb growers in Britain are now doing.’
- ‘Carrying beer to Bierfest was on a par with carrying coals to Newcastle or water to the Thames.’
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