The proof is in the pudding is an idiomatic expression, referring to the fact that in order to truly determine the quality of something, one must put it to the test.
In the case of a pudding, one must taste it in order to obtain proof of its excellency.
The origin of the idiom can be found in the 14th century, emerging in William Camden’s 1605 Remaines of a Greater Worke, Concerning Britaine.
It would later appear in the 1682 translation of Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux’s Le Lutrin, as “the proof of th’ pudding’s seen i’ the eating”.
The current form of the expression started to take shape in Britain in the 1860’s, with the Farmer’s Magazine issuing a print that contained “the proof is in the pudding” in 1867.
“The proof is in the pudding” started appearing globally in the 1950’s, when the expression would see more frequent use in the United States.
It has since become a phrase commonly encountered in vernacular English, all across the Anglosphere.
“The proof is in the pudding” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2008.
- Npr.org – The Origin Of ‘Proof Is In The Pudding’
- Grammarist.com – Proof is in the pudding
- Quartz – Five common English sayings native speakers don’t know how to use