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Re: Half-baked

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 30, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Half-baked posted by James Briggs on April 30, 2005

: : Half-baked. Any thoughts on the origin of that?

: Surely, just improperly cooked food out of the oven - not much use to eat and therefore not worth wasting time on. That's my guess.

In the U.S. it is primarily used to mean a plan, a scheme, an idea of some kind which, figuratively, needs further cooking (more thought, more work) before it is digestible or fit for table. That doesn't mean that a half-baked idea can necessarily be improved by further cooking. The OED gives, as one definition: "underdone, not thorough, not earnest; raw, crude, ill-digested; half-finished, incomplete, rude," first cited from 1613. They also say it can mean a silly fellow, even a lunatic. SS