Try Our Apps


The saddest words

bad egg

a person who is bad, dishonest, or unreliable; a good-for-nothing:
a bad egg who had served several years in prison.
Origin of bad egg
An Americanism dating back to 1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bad egg
Historical Examples
  • The dumpy one is Waddy Walsh, the bad egg, who was sent to the reform school three years ago.

  • There are fourteen hens, and never do I find a bad egg in the nests.

  • "Neither can a bad egg," said Glen, who was trying to make an omelet.

    Raftmates Kirk Munroe
  • He is full of practical jokes, and is a bad egg on general principles.

    Peck's Sunshine George W. Peck
  • They had him in the office, but he was considered a bad egg altogether, always flying off to race meetings and coming home drunk.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • He was always a bad egg; always a disgrace to his name and connections.

    Cleek, the Master Detective Thomas W. Hanshew
  • Carlsen's a bad egg an', w'en he hatches, you'll see a buzzard.

    A Man to His Mate J. Allan Dunn
  • He's a bad egg, but he wasn't made to throw at a pardner's head.

    The Red River Half-Breed Gustave Aimard
  • Chloride of Lime … bad smell … bad egg … white of egg … fowl … grain … flour … flour and water … milk fluid … milk.

    Assimilative Memory Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
  • I tell you, Mr. Sumner, he is a bad egg, and he ought to be discharged.

    The Missing Tin Box Arthur M. Winfield
Contemporary definitions for bad egg

a corrupt or evil person, cf. good egg

See good egg's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bad egg

bad egg

noun phrase

A villain, criminal, or other deplorable person; bad actor, baddie (1855+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with bad egg

bad egg

An individual who turns out to be rotten, as in You can't trust him—he's simply a bad egg . Although egg had been used for various kinds of person (young, good, bad) since Shakespeare's day, this transfer of a seemingly wholesome food that, when opened, turns out to be rotten took place only in the mid-1800s. An early definition appeared in The Atheneum of 1864: “A bad egg ... a fellow who had not proved to be as good as his promise.” In contrast, the schoolyard saying Last one in is a rotten egg does not have any special significance other than as a way of urging others to join an activity, jump in the water, or the like. Also see good egg
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bad egg

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bad

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bad egg