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Rotten egg

Posted by Chris on June 30, 2007

In Reply to: Rotten egg posted by BigJ on June 29, 2007

: I am looking for the origin for the phrase "Last one in/there is a rotten egg." I have looked all over for it and can't seem to find any information on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A rotten egg is something, and, by analogy, someone that promises something useful but delivers something worse than useless. Your phrase, though, is just a schoolboy thing, I think. In our school it was 'last one in stinks'. It might have its roots in the idea that, in a group activity, hesitation or tardiness could be a sign that the individual's commitment or loyalty to the group was questionable; but I think it's usually just an innocent call for everyone to join in immediately and wholeheartedly.