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Anonymous:"go suck on an egg" is an expression i hear now and then. Usually it is a ridiculous joke, but I am curious about what it actually means and/or where it came from.
"go suck on an egg" is an expression i hear now and then. Usually it is a ridiculous joke, but I am curious about what it actually means and/or where it came from.
It means 'I want you to go away and do something stupid'. I defy you. It's a less profane way of telling you to 'Fuck off'.
I don't know where it comes from, but I suspect it is derived from the proverbial saying DON'T TRY TO TEACH YOUR GRANDMA TO SUCK EGGS. I found the following excerpt via Google.
DON'T TRY TO TEACH YOUR GRANDMA TO SUCK EGGS - I don't think anyone knows exactly how this phrase got started. On a farm, an egg-sucking dog (a dog that steals eggs and eats them) is bad. And I think that during one discussion of the phrase, it was said that maybe grandma didn't have teeth so she sucked soft boiled eggs. Anyway, here's what Charles Earle Funk says in "Hog on Ice" (Harper & Row, New York, 1948). "To teach one's grandmother to suck eggs - To offer needless assistance; to waste one's efforts upon futile matters; especially, to offer advice to an expert. This particular expression is well over two hundred years old; it is just a variation of an older theme that was absurd enough to appeal to the popular fancy. One of the earliest of these is given in Udall's translation of 'Apophthegmes (1542) from the works of Erasmus. It reads: 'A swyne to teach Minerua, was a prouerbe, for which we sai: Englyshe to teach our dame to spyne.'" That last bit was about an expression, don't try to teach a dame to spin.
Best wishes, Clive
Sucking eggs was an old English (and possibly elsewhere) tradition going back centuries, and normally done at Easter. An egg would be pierced with small holes at either end, and the contents sucked out. The combined white/yolk (plus some inevitable saliva!) would then be used in cake making and other foods, whereas the intact eggshell could be painted and used for decoration. My own grandmother - who cames from Essex in the south east of England - did this as a little girl in the early twentieth century.
I think it was quite tricky to do succesfully - thus it was left to the experienced grandmothers who'd been doing it for years. It would have been considered an insult to try to "teach" her how to do something she was so expert in. The lack of teeth probably helped though!
I've always understood this to be the source of the phrase.
...The combined white/yolk (plus some inevitable saliva!) would then be used in cake making...The lack of teeth probably helped...Mmm. So where can I get hold of some of these cakes, LL?
You blow eggs you don't suck them (where's Talullah now eh?).
You make a hole at each end and blow hard in one and plop, eventually the egg comes out the other hole. I don't think Grandma saliva features in any cake recipes!
Anonymous:Used for a situation where you're between a rock and a hard place, ie where you have no option.
Origin: Eggs in English farms were traditionally eaten hard boiled. This expression was used to denote times where food or meat was scarce and there was no soup to go around; hence "suck eggs".
Anonymous:Traditionally eaten hard-boiled? Isn't the internet a great place for people spouting absolute rubbish?
Anonymous:Fraid not. You blow eggs, not suck them, and blowing eggs is pretty easy, you put a hole in each end and, um, blow. And people still do it, my family do it every easter.
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