bad egg

See more synonyms for bad egg on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bad egg

evildoer, miscreant, reprobate, wrongdoer

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.