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Nest egg

Posted by R. Berg on March 12, 2001

Remarkably few postings since this list was started; maybe people don't want to mess up the nice clean page. This seems a good time to say something about "nest egg."

Currently, "nest egg" usually means a reserve of money set aside in case of need. Originally, it meant a china egg put in the nest, or a real egg left there, to encourage a hen to lay more. These two things don't seem parallel, and my dictionaries don't explain the history of the transition. Does anyone know?