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Ten English Proverbs and Sayings About Eggs

A retired lawyer, I'm fascinated by words, nuances of meanings & ideas. I’ve always enjoyed reading, languages, & writing, including poetry

There Are a Surprising Number of English Idioms About Eggs

The English Language is very rich in metaphors, proverbs and sayings. Pick on any common object, and it is quite likely that there will be a saying or proverb about it. I have managed to think of numerous sayings about eggs without too much difficulty. See how many you can remember.

english-proverbs-and-sayings-about-eggs

If your home language is English, I think this web page will amuse you, and if you are a student of English, learning to speak English as a second language (ESL or ESOL, TESOL or even TSL), I'm sure you'll find this list of sayings about eggs very helpful.

Towards the bottom of the page I have also included some edgy, or should I say eggy puns and a picture of the charming Eglantine. There is also a poem called Eggs and Soldiers, soldiers being the figurative word to describe a popular accompaniment to boiled egg.

Eggs Galore

It's surprising how many expressions there are about eggs. Or perhaps not so surprising, as humans have been eating eggs since human life evolved. The word "egg" itself evolved from Middle English oeg to the old Norse word egg in the 14th Century.

So, Here's the List:

1. You Can’t Make an Omelette Without Breaking Eggs

Means In order to reach your goal, it is necessary to do unpleasant things

e.g. "The situation in Syria is devastating, and there will be no real winners, because you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, and people are going to get hurt"

Omelette

Omelette

2. A Good Egg

Means a decent or good person

e.g. "He's kind and generous, even to strangers - he's a real good egg"

3. A Bad Egg or a Rotten Egg

Means a bad or very unpleasant person with criminal tendencies

e.g. "Not many people were sad when Charles Manson died, because he was a bad egg"

A Bad Egg

A Bad Egg

A Rather Strong Reaction To The Smell Of Bad Eggs:

A State of Collapse

A State of Collapse

4. An Egghead

Means Someone clever

e.g. "It took an egghead like Einstein to discover the theory of relativity"

Two Eggheads  (I love decorating my hard-boiled eggs before putting them in the fridge)

Two Eggheads (I love decorating my hard-boiled eggs before putting them in the fridge)

5. To Get Egg on His Face

Means to be caught doing something stupid

e.g. " When Trump said America would build a wall to separate USA from Mexico and make Mexico pay for it, to some extent he was caught with egg on his face, because Mexico refused to pay for it"

6. Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

This expression describes something which is a connundrum or a circular argument

e.g. "You need experience to get a good job, and you need a good job to get experience--it's a chicken and egg situation, that is, which comes first, the chicken or the egg?"

Eggs Boiling

Eggs Boiling

7. Walking on Eggshells

Means having to act carefully in order not to upset someone

e.g. "My husband is so sensitive that trying not to upset him is like walking on eggshells"

8. Eggshell Paint

This describes a type of paint with a texture somewhere between matt and gloss

e.g. "I prefer egg shell paint to gloss because, although washable, it's not as shiny as gloss paint"

9. To Egg Someone on

Means to encourage someone fairly forcefully

e.g. "Egged on by his trainer and admirers, Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world"

10. It Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Means there's something suspicious or fraudulent going on....very apt for the current political situation in many parts of the world, I fear.

e.g. "Jacob Zuma, the South African ex-president, built an additional swimming pool on the edge of his multi-million pound estate which he said was to protect him against interlopers, but that smells like rotten eggs to me"

Rotten Eggs

Rotten Eggs

And now, because I'm a good egg, here's one more bonus expression to add to the ten promised idioms:

11. To be Hard-Boiled

This idiom describes someone who is tough

e.g. "She's hard-boiled and would not be afraid of any of your threats"

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Have You Ever Dipped Your Bread Into Your Boiled Egg?

The bread or toast which is dipped (or "dunked") into the egg is first sliced into thin strips which are then easy to dip into soft-boiled eggs to soak up the liquid egg yolk. These slices are known colloquially as soldiers.

My Poem About Eggs And Soldiers

EGGS AND SOLDIERS

Eggs and soldiers

Eggs and soldiers

Munchy munch they go

Tap tap tap

And crack crack crack

To open eggy neatly

Spread your bread

And sprinkle salt

Then eat your food politely


Little fellow

Dipped in yellow

Dunky dunk I go

Now his head is bitten off

His jacket coated gold

And crystal white his salty eggs –

Don’t let your egg get cold!

© Diana Grant

A Soldier Being Dunked in a Boiled Egg

A Soldier Being Dunked in a Boiled Egg

Take This Poll--How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Humorous Puns Based on the Word "Egg"

A pun is a humorous play on words, to suggest a different meaning, based on a similar sound. So I might say, for eggsample (example):

  • "I am eggstatic (ecstatic) about my new car!"
  • "Those mangoes are an eggsotic (exotic) fruit"
  • "He thinks of number one first because he is very eggocentric (egocentric)"
  • "She does odd things because she's a bit eggcentric (eccentric)"
  • "The eggsaminer (examiner) gave her 2 out of 10 for her essay"
  • "Theoretically, anarchists and communists believe in eggalitarianism (egalitarianism)"

I had to include the final one because I've just finished reading a very interesting book ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman. Written in 1928, it's frightening how closely it relates to world problems today, from state corruption, forced labour, injustice, poverty, mismanagement, civil war and pandemics leading to citizen uprisings, recessions, even more poverty and subsequent illegal immigration. Roll on 2022, I say!


An Eggsample by an Eggotist of a Pun or Play on Words About Eggs

An Eggsample by an Eggotist of a Pun or Play on Words About Eggs

A Silly Video - I Love it - Hope You do Too

Please Leave A Comment Or Question--I Would Be Eggstatic to Hear From People

Diana Grant (author) from London on November 19, 2020:

I'm so pleased they are useful to a whole group of students.

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA from Nairobi on November 06, 2020:

I have to put this down: walking on Eggshells

Means having to act carefully in order not to upset someone

e.g. "My husband is so sensitive that trying not to upset him is like walking on eggshells"

These idioms are so good. I will have to share with my pupils. Thanks.

Patricia Lapidus from Bantam, CT on September 22, 2020:

Very enjoyable. You eggsplained each use well. As a note, eggs came long before chickens--dinosaur eggs, fish eggs, frog eggs...

Diana Grant (author) from London on September 17, 2020:

It woud be eggregious not to set a good eggsample

Prithviraj Shirole from India on September 17, 2020:

The article was an Egghead! Loved it, I am happy I learnt wonderful idioms and puns on eggs. Thank you so much for an eggstatic read.

Diana Grant (author) from London on August 17, 2020:

I've never heard of the egg of Columbus, so just checked it out - according to Wikipedia it's "an Italian expression uovo di Colombo and refers to a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact."

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia on August 17, 2020:

What about The Egg of Columbus, which basically means: "Duh!".

Rajeev Patki on August 15, 2020:

Loved this Article

Jeshurun from Nellore AP India on August 09, 2020:

Dear mam, it is impressive master piece of workmanship, beautiful fabricated and laborious task......

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 09, 2020:

Loved this article. I recognized all of these sayings. I guess that means my brain isn't scrambled eggs this morning. lol. Thanks and fabulous poem. May peace be with you.

Vince Summers on July 24, 2020:

I always say, The Yolk's on You in a humorous turn-around moment. BTW, the chicken came first (Genesis 1:20).

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 23, 2020:

I used to love licking the bowl after my grandmother had made something. I even did it as an adult, it tasted great but now I try to stick to keto type foods and they don't use the mixing bowl, not with sugar in anyway!

Diana Grant (author) from London on July 23, 2020:

What about scraping the mixing bowl and licking the spoon after making banana bread or cake--that contains raw egg, doesn't it? I sometimes think it tastes better than the finished version!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 22, 2020:

Good sayings. I like my eggs most of ways you mentioned, except for raw. I am not into raw eggs but omelettes, hard boiled, poached, so many ways to enjoy eggs!

Karen B on September 28, 2016:

I knew all these! Shared the page with a friend who is working on a book about Egg Cookery.

Gina Welds from Tampa, Florida on September 13, 2016:

Angela Lansbury played a very eccentric character in Bedknobs and Broomsticks by the name of Eglantine. Her name makes perfect sense now. I never made the connection until now...and I've seen the movie many times. It is one of my favorite since middle school days, and my kids love it, also.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 20, 2016:

Good for you!

Diana Grant (author) from London on March 20, 2016:

I enjoyed writing it, and especially doing the drawing that accompanied it

Diana Grant (author) from London on March 20, 2016:

That's a new one to me

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 20, 2016:

Diana, great poem on the egg. Good hub on English proverbs and sayings on eggs. Thanks for sharing!

Gibson Mupeyo on February 17, 2016:

This is my saying using eggs as metaphor.

"Do not drop an egg unless the yolk is used" - Gibson Mupeyo, 17 February 2016.

This means life is precious and should be cherished.

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on February 08, 2014:

My son introduced me to The Annoying Orange and (with exceptions) I love them. This eggs video is super! I like your poem too.

Diana Grant (author) from London on June 30, 2012:

I think you are right, sashenikainderby - I will have to put in some examples at some time in the future!

sashenikainderby on June 29, 2012:

I found this hub very useful because English is not my first language and I try to learn proverbs but it could be better if you used them with examples. Thank you very much and I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs.

Dilip Chandra from India on March 04, 2012:

I like this Egg hub :) :) Well written, nice hub. Voted UP

Diana Grant (author) from London on March 04, 2012:

Thanks snakeslane - I'm eggstatic with your reply and will take eggstra care to make sure my eggs are not all in one basket.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on March 03, 2012:

Hello Diana Grant, this was eggciting (sorry). You must be a good egg, sharing your egg stories. I hope you haven't put all your eggs in one basket, ha ha, what fun, now I am egging you on! Regards snakeslane

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