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Posted by ESC on May 21, 2003

In Reply to: Don't put all your eggs in one basket posted by masakim on May 20, 2003

: : : I understand what it means but where did it come from? Does any one know its origin?
: : : Thanks for your help!
: : : Rose

: : This doesn't have an origin but it does show that the phrase is very old.

: : PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET - "To rely too much on one resource or one line of effort; to risk everything on a single venture.The same thought was embodied in a proverb now forgotten: 'Venture not all in one bottom.' Giovanni Torriano, writing on popular phrases in 1666, used one expression to define the other: 'To put all ones Eggs in a Paniard, viz., to hazard all in one bottom." From From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

: 'Tis the part of wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket. (Cervantes, _Don Quixote_, 1605-)

: Don't venture all your Eggs in One Basket. (S. Palmer, _Moral Essays on Proverbs_, 1710)

: George, too many eggs in one basket. (Murphy, _Citizen_, 1763)

: Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket" -- which is but a manner of saying, "Scatter you money and your attention"; but the wise man saith, "Put all your eggs in the one basket and -- _watch that basket_." (Mark Twain, _Pudd'nhead Wilson_, 1894)

: BTW, Torriano's "bottom" stands for "a ship."

That makes sense. I wrote a history of insurance and bottomry was one of the terms. Maybe "Don't put all your eggs in one bottom" was an early insurance slogan.

4000-3000 B.C. -- Bottomry contracts were known to merchants in Babylon during this time period. Bottomry is a maritime contract: the ship's owner borrows money to outfit and repair his vessel and pledges the ship as security. But if the ship is lost during the voyage or specified time, the lender loses his money. (