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Nest egg

The term nest egg has both a literal and a figurative meaning. We will examine the definitions of the term nest egg, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The term nest egg is generally used to mean a sum of money saved up for retirement, an emergency or some other future use. The term nest egg to mean a sum of money that is saved for future use first appeared in the 1680s. This was a figurative meaning attached to the literal term nest egg, referring to an artificial egg placed in a hen’s nest in order to encourage that hen to lay more eggs. An interesting variation on the nest egg was an invention popular in the United States during the 1800s and early 1900s. This consisted of artificial eggs made of hollow glass, somewhat like a lightbulb. Not only would these eggs encourage egg production by the hens, they served as a way to kill snakes that were stealing eggs. The snake would swallow one of these glass eggs, which would then break inside the snake and cause its demise. The plural form of nest egg is nest eggs.


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Examples

Yet the beleaguered Westland District Council has allowed a self-appointed trust to use some of the town’s decades-old nest egg to build it. (The Press)

While a sense of confidence is always in style, there are times when it can even help protect your nest egg. (The Montgomery Advertiser)

The Copper Hen could collect a pretty healthy nest egg if things go well when the Minneapolis restaurant competes on an upcoming CNBC show. (The Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

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