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Meaning of "to lay an egg"



 
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Expression: "for the sake of" | Meaning of incidentally
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Meaning of "to lay an egg" #1 (permalink) Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:14 am   Meaning of "to lay an egg"
 

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #22 "Egg expressions", question 6

She wasn't really successful in her first stage play. In fact you could say she laid an egg.

(a) she made a good impression
(b) she forgot her lines
(c) she fell over on stage
(d) she gave an embarrassing performance

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #22 "Egg expressions", answer 6

She wasn't really successful in her first stage play. In fact you could say she she gave an embarrassing performance.

Correct answer: (d) she gave an embarrassing performance
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What does "To lay an egg" means?

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Meaning of "to lay an egg" #2 (permalink) Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:31 am   Meaning of "to lay an egg"
 

To lay an egg, i.e. to fail, especially in a public performance. As you see, the substitute in the test sentence is to give an embarrassing performance.
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Meaning of "to lay an egg" #3 (permalink) Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:49 am   Meaning of "to lay an egg"
 

'Lay an egg' can also mean to fail or be unsuccessful.

IIRC, the origin came from the number zero because it's shaped like an egg, hence the term.

HTH.
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Meaning of "to lay an egg" #4 (permalink) Wed Nov 15, 2006 23:28 pm   Meaning of "to lay an egg"
 

Wouldn't answers B and C also suffice, inasmuch as to suffer either B or C would be embarrassing?
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Meaning of "to lay an egg" #5 (permalink) Wed Nov 15, 2006 23:31 pm   Meaning of "to lay an egg"
 

But yes, that's what "to lay an egg" means.

Imagine if Arsenal were beaten 5-0 by Millwall.

Would Gunners fans admit that Millwall is a better team? No, because that's preposterous.

They may say something like, "Man, the Gunners surely laid an egg today!"

...with a few expletives added.

(I don't mean to pick on Arsenal. Insert any big soccer team in their place and it would likely be the same.)
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