- 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
Idioms and Phrases with 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.