Egg someone on

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To egg someone on is an idiom with an interesting origin. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of to egg someone on, where this phrase came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To egg someone on means to incite a person to take a course of action, to encourage someone to do something, especially something socially unacceptable, something criminal or something dangerous. This phrase usually carries a negative connotation. The verb eggede, from which the phrase to egg someone on is derived, has been in the English language since approximately 1200. It is derived from the Old Norse word eggja, which means to incite or provoke. The idiom to egg someone on first appeared in the mid-1500s. Related phrases are eggs someone on, egged someone on, egging someone on.


Most dogs, however, bolted for the finish line, egged on by owners with their favorite squeaky toys. (The Tulane Hullabaloo)

Mr Hulme joked he would throw Thomson’s shoe out of the window, egged on by another passenger who shouted ‘Go on, I dare you’. (The Evening Standard)

Scofflaws in the universities have been egged on in Canada by the 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act that included a vaguely worded, broad-brush education exemption. (The Globe and Mail)

Lane McCallum looked pretty comfortable atop a ladder waving the net, taking a SnapChat video and egging on the crowd after Norfolk claimed its first Class A state championship since 1987. (The Lincoln Journal Star)

Too many investors, egged on by the financial services industry, focus on returns without thinking enough about risk, he says, arguing investors have been lulled into believing more risk assures higher returns, while higher risk really just means a greater range of possible results. (U.S. News & World Report)

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