Eggs are a staple food in many cultures and have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Apart from being a nutritious and versatile ingredient, eggs have also found their way into language in the form of idiomatic expressions.
Eggs have inspired numerous idioms that reflect different aspects of human experience, from the fragile nature of life to the potential for new beginnings.
In this post, we will explore some of the most interesting and widely used egg idioms, examining their meanings and origins, and discovering the valuable insights they offer for everyday communication.
Through these egg idioms, we can gain a richer understanding of how our language is shaped by the objects and experiences around us, and how these idioms can offer a unique way of expressing ourselves and connecting with others.
27 Egg Idioms & Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
1. As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs
- Meaning: to say that something is certain to happen.
- Use In A Sentence: After a month of living on his own, he will move back in with his parents. That is as sure as eggs is eggs.
2. To Be A Bad Egg
- Meaning: used to describe a person that is dishonest.
- Use In A Sentence: I could tell he was a bad egg from the moment I first met him.
3. A Curate’s Egg
- Meaning: used primarily in the United Kingdom to describe something that is both good and bad.
- Use In A Sentence: How was your day? It was a bit of a curate’s egg. The morning started off great, but the afternoon sucked.
4. A Goose Egg
- Meaning #1: Zero or nothing. It can also refer to something being a failure.
- Use In A Sentence: I got a goose end on my project for not turning it in on time.
- Meaning #2: a bump on the head as a result of bumping into something.
- Use In A Sentence: I got a big fat goose egg on my forehead after running into the door.
5. A Rotten Egg
- Meaning: a bad person.
- Use In A Sentence: I had high hopes for Amy, but she turned out to be a rotten egg.
6. To Break One’s Egg
- Meaning: To score one’s first points in a game.
- Use In A Sentence: Finally, my team broke their egg by scoring a touchdown.
7. Chicken And Egg Problem
- Meaning: used to describe a problem in which nobody knows what caused the problems and what needs to be done to fix it.
- Use In A Sentence: This is not a chicken and egg problem. We know what caused the problem, we need to cut our spending by at least 25 percent.
8. To Have Egg On One’s Face
- Meaning: to be embarrassed or humiliated.
- Use In A Sentence: Be sure to follow the instructions. If not, you will end up having egg on your face.
9. To Kill The Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs
- Meaning: to ruin something that is making a person money or something that is making one successful.
- Use In A Sentence: Firing the best teacher at the school is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. It just doesn’t make any sense.
10. To Be One Egg Short Of A Dozen
- Meaning: used to say that someone isn’t very intelligent, crazy, or that person is mentally slow.
- Use In A Sentence: Be careful around Pearl. She has some crazy ideas. She is one egg short of a dozen you know?
11. To Lay An Egg
- Meaning #1: to fail. To perform poorly at something.
- Use In A Sentence: I really laid an egg in that board meeting. It is so disappointing. I have been practicing this presentation for months.
- Meaning #2: to laugh really hard.
- Use In A Sentence: Mary laid an egg when I told her what happened to me during the business meeting.
12. To Put All One’s Eggs In A Basket
- Meaning: to put all of one’s energy into one goal, opportunity, or venture at the risk of losing everything if that one thing fails to perform.
- Use In A Sentence: I really hope this online business works out. Be careful, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Maybe you should have a backup plan just in case it doesn’t work out.
13. To Walk On Eggs
- Meaning: To be extremely cautious about what you do and what you say. To proceed cautiously.
- Use In A Sentence: Tom is quite a hothead. The littlest things set him off. For that reason, I feel like I am walking on eggs every time I am around him.
14. You Can’t Make An Omelet Without Breaking Some Eggs
- Meaning: you can’t do something good/useful without causing problems for somebody else.
- Use In A Sentence: If we don’t cut our spending the company is going to go bankrupt. I know it is not easy, but we need to lay some people off. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.
15. Butter & Egg Money
- Meaning: to earn extra money.
- Use In A Sentence: She has been saving up her butter and egg money for a while now. She really wants to go to Spain.
16. To Be A Hard Egg To Crack
- Meaning: a person or thing that is difficult to understand, deal with, or solve. It can also refer to someone that won’t divulge secrets easily.
- Use In A Sentence: She is one hard egg to crack. She won’t tell what she read in her sister’s diary.
17. A Wild Goose Never Laid A Tame Egg
- Meaning: something will not be different from where it came from. Just like we don’t expect a wild goose to lay a tame egg.
- Use In A Sentence: Peter is just like his father. Well, a wild goose never lays a tame egg right? Right!
18. What Do You Want, Egg In Your Beer?
- Meaning: a phrase used when a person wants something for free.
- Use In A Sentence: Your parents just paid for your new car. Why are you upset that they won’t buy you a new computer? What do you want, egg in your beer? If you want a new computer, go out there and work for it.
19. Go Fry An Egg!
- Meaning: to tell someone to leave you alone. To go away.
- Use In A Sentence: Go fry an egg! I am trying to study.
- Meaning: a boat motor. It can also refer to a helicopter.
- Use In A Sentence: My egg-beater has been acting up recently. I think I am going to bring it down to the shop.
21. The Same Fire That Melts The Butter Hardens The Egg
- Meaning: the same situation will trigger different reactions in different people. For example, for one person the problem can make them soft/weak. While for a different person facing the same problem it can make them hard or stronger.
- Use In A Sentence: I was surprised by how they both reacted to getting fired. Matt just went off the deep end, but it seems like it really lit a fire under Susan. She has been working hard to get better ever since. Well, you know the expression, the same fire that melts the butter hardens the egg.
22. A Nest Egg
- Meaning: an amount of money that you are saving for the future.
- Use In A Sentence: Paul has a nice little nest egg he has been saving for his retirement.
23. A Good Egg
- Meaning: a person you can trust. A kind person.
- Use In A Sentence: Julie is such a good egg. Whenever you have a problem you can count on her to give you a hand.
- Meaning: a person that is always trying to flatter those that have more authority.
- Use In A Sentence: Dave is such an egg sucker.
- Meaning: slang for someone that is stupid and not intelligent.
- Use In A Sentence: Monica is such an egghead. She installed it upside down.
26. To Egg On Someone
- Meaning: to encourage/urge someone to do something.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t think he would have broken the law if his friends weren’t there to egg him on.
27. Can’t Boil An Egg
- Meaning: used to refer to someone who can’t cook.
- Use In A Sentence: Is she a good cook? Let’s just say, she can’t boil an egg.
In conclusion, the egg has inspired numerous idioms that reflect various aspects of the human experience and provide a creative and engaging way of expressing ourselves. These egg idioms reveal the diverse cultural attitudes towards eggs and the symbolic significance they hold in different contexts.
By understanding and appreciating these idiomatic expressions, we not only gain a richer understanding of the objects and experiences around us but also gain a valuable tool for expressing ourselves and connecting with others in a more meaningful way.
Ultimately, the egg idioms show us that even the simplest objects and experiences can hold profound meaning and offer a unique way of communicating that goes beyond the literal meaning of words.
There you have it! 27 useful egg idioms. Which one is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.