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Easter egg

Easter egg has both a literal meaning and a figurative meaning. We will examine both the literal and figurative meanings of the term Easter egg, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An Easter egg is an edible egg, usually from a chicken, that is usually boiled and then dyed or decorated in some fashion before it is hidden for children to hunt. Alternatively, an Easter egg may be a candy or chocolate egg. The term Easter egg first came into use around 1825, before this time they were called pace eggs.

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A more recent meaning of the term Easter egg is a hidden feature in a video game or other media, such as a joke, message or gameplay. This use of the term Easter egg first appeared in 1979, in reference to an Atari game called Adventure, programmed by Warren Robinett. Robinett had a dispute with his supervisor over crediting programmers with their work in the game’s credits. He programmed the game so that when the player moved his avatar over a certain pixel, the message “Created by Warren Robinett” popped up. When this was discovered by a consumer, the director of software development argued to leave the message in the game and even encouraged programmers to put other such surprises in their games for consumers to find, like Easter eggs on an Easter egg hunt. Note that the word Easter is capitalized.

Examples

In a mad dash, the groups started searching for candy-filled Easter eggs in three seperate areas of the park — one for children under 5, another for ages 6 through 8 and a third for ages 9 through 12. (The Danbury News Times)

Game designers have been hiding easter eggs in games from the very beginning, little hidden gems you’ll only spot if you’re looking for them. (Popular Mechanics Magazine)

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