We conclude our series on American idioms featuring the word “egg” today with the idiom, “put all your eggs in one basket.” Similar to “kill the goose that laid the golden egg” this phrase is normally used in a financial context, a scenario where all of one’s resources have been put in a single place. From a financial perspective, this is done with the expectation that money deposited into an account will be secure and not depreciate. This risky maneuver is usually taken to maximize potential profit.  Interestingly, as you may have noticed, all the “egg” idioms in this series have direct or indirect financial connotations.

Idiom: Put all your eggs in one basket

Definition: When you put all your eggs in one basket, this means that you are making everything dependent on a single thing, or are placing all your resources in a single place.

Example: “When you put all your eggs in one basket and invest all your money in a single company, you also face that huge risk of losing everything.”

Origin: Although there is no clear story on where this expression came from or where it was first used, it does appear to be related to a number of different expressions as well. In Miguel put all your eggs in one basket Cervantes’ Don Quixote for example, in Part I, Book III, Chapter 9, the statement “It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket” can be found. This has often been used in relation to the term ‘put all your eggs in one basket’.

An old proverb also says “Venture not all in one bottom,” which means the same thing. There are other expressions similar to it, although it is yet to be determined where each expression stemmed from, along with the proverb’s origins.

Accent Reduction idioms series

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