Eggs have earned a special place in English, with idioms, special meanings, and even a few good insults. If you're ready for a potentially awkward and definitely cheesy challenge (mm, cheesy eggs), see if you can use all 8 expressions this week! Just try not to get egg on your face.
...To Suck Eggs.
This curious expression emerged in the 1700s, and meant that someone was presuming to teach someone something they already knew. It’s fun to speculate that the saying provides insight into a time where all grandmothers were experts at dismantling eggs, but the expression was more likely meant to be a comical way to point out that elders know more than their juniors imagine.
Be careful not to confuse these grandmas with egg-suckers; in the singular, this term means "a flatterer; a sycophant." This is also different than telling someone to "go suck an egg." That's...well, that's just a rude way of telling someone to get lost.
...In One Basket.
Putting all of your eggs in the refrigerator or the frying pan is one thing; putting all of them in one basket is something completely different. This idiomatic expression means "to venture all of something that one possesses in a single enterprise." It's often used in negative constructions, like "don't put all your eggs in one basket," to caution against the risk of losing everything. English speakers have been using this phrase, if not heeding its wisdom, since the mid-1600s. Of course, at Easter, kids have a more carefree approach to egg gathering.
Depending on how much you love brunch, a delicious omelet might move you to intense expressions of excitement, but the verb sense of egg meaning "to incite or urge; encourage" has no relation to the eggs we eat. It comes from the Old Norse term eggja with a similar verbal meaning.
However, if you drop the on in this expression, and say "to egg someone" instead, the henhouse connection is reestablished. In this construction, the verb egg means "to pelt with eggs."
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