The Proof is in the Pudding – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to challenge someone on their claims? If so, you could tell them you’ll test it yourself, and “the proof is in the pudding.” This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The meaning of the expression “the proof is in the pudding” is to challenge someone’s claims. If someone tells you that their grilled yellowtail recipe is the best in the world, you could tell them that the proof is in the pudding, and you’ll be the judge of that. The phrase doesn’t have to apply to desserts alone.

It can apply to any food and objects, processes, or anything that requires approval from a third party. The saying means that to determine the quality of the claim, you must first put it to the test. In most cases, you can change the “pudding” to whatever suits the situation.

For example, someone says their car is the best drive ever. You could tell them that the proof is in the pudding, and they’ll have to let you drive it if they want confirmation on that claim.

Example Usage

“I’m telling you this is the best set I’ve put together. The crowd will go wild, but the proof is in the pudding, and we’ll see what happens when I play it tonight.”

“The proof is in the pudding, my man. You say it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but how do I trust what you’re saying when I don’t know you?”

“I’ll take it, but I’ll be back if I get home and find its garbage. The proof is in the pudding, and you better hope I don’t have to come back for a refund.”

“She told us this would be the best night of our life. We’ll see, the proof is in the pudding, and we have a long way to go.”


The origin of the proverbial expression, “the proof is in the pudding,” comes from the 14th century. It first appears in William Camden’s “Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine,” published in 1605.

Many language experts attribute the saying to the works of Cervantes in Don Quixote. However, Camden’s Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine, is the first use of the expression, with different wording.

“All the proof of a pudding is in the eating.”

The modern format of the expression came from England in the 1860s. The first appearance of it in print at the time domes from “Farmer’s Magazine” in 1867.

Phrases Similar to The Proof is in the Pudding

  • Don’t trust, verify.

Phrases Opposite to The Proof is in the Pudding

  • Trust at first glance.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • The proof is in the pudding.

Ways People May Say The Proof is in the Pudding Incorrectly

Some people may use the saying to describe pudding. While that’s technically correct, the expression has other applications than tasting dessert. You can use it in any scenario where you want to put a person’s claims to the test.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase The Proof is in the Pudding

You can use the expression, “the proof is in the pudding,” when you’re telling someone that you don’t care about their opinion or reviews on something – you need to test it for yourself. For instance, a friend could say to you the new BMW 3-series is the best generation to date. You could tell them, “the proof is in the pudding,” and you’ll reserve judgment until you drive it.

The saying suits social and professional use. You could say it to your partner when they serve you a new recipe at dinner. Or you could use it at work to tell your employees their results are what matters. It’s a versatile expression suitable for many applications.

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