This is one of many witty and amusing quotes from this author. I’ve always known that mincing my words means that I am speaking vaguely, or indirectly. The phrase is more commonly used in a negative context, as in not mincing one’s words so that you are speaking directly, and don’t care if the person being addressed will be offended. As for eating one’s words, this is having to admit you were wrong about something you have said in the past, so this is an amusing conjunction of the two phrases.
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