Etymology (Meaning of Words)/origin of a phrase


rjjhaynes wrote at 2013-12-14 23:50:15
If you have ever peeled quantities of boiled eggs, you will surely notice some are "good eggs" and some are "bad eggs".  The good eggs peel very easily and are a joy to work with; the bad eggs have shells that stubbornly resist peeling and are very frustrating and time-consuming.  I've been know to throw a "bad egg" in the trash out of aggravation.  While my mother was peeling eggs recently, I heard her comment, "That's a good egg!", and "That's a bad egg!"  It dawned on me that this is probably where the term got the kitchen eons ago.

James Tusk George wrote at 2014-03-19 05:22:34
Interestingly "Bad Egg" is used in Chinese to mean "a bad man" (` huai4 dan4) and Wodehouse lived in Hong Kong until he was 4.

Being a judge it would not be unlikely for his father to have spoken about good and bad people, and to a young child he may well have borrowed the term "bad egg" to describe the villians. It's not a huge leap to extrapolate "good egg" from that, it's a pretty logical jump.

It's certainly an interesting co-incidence if the term doesn't come from Chinese, it would be interesting to know if there is any proof that it was used before Wodehouse.

Etymology (Meaning of Words)

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Carol Pozefsky


Etymology: The origins of English words and phrases. Anchor/Reporter NBC and CBS Networks. News Director 3 Regional Radio Stations.

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