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Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

  • Don’t put all your eggs is one basket is a proverb that dates back at least to the 1600s. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. These common sayings are language tools that particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, aphorism, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb himself. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these pithy sayings as translations from English to other languages do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are the wise sayings better late than never, early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, haste makes waste, blood is thicker than water, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. One of the books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs, which contains words and phrases that are still often quoted in the English language because they are wise. Many current proverbs are quotations taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the expression don’t put all your eggs in one basket, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket is a proverb that means don’t concentrate all of your resources in one area, because if that endeavor fails, you will be left with nothing. For instance, someone may put all his eggs in one basket by investing all his savings in one particular company. If that company fails, he has lost his savings. Another example of putting all your eggs in one basket is maintaining a friendship with only one person. If you have a falling out with that person, then you will be friendless. The phrase is most often expressed in the negative as an admonishment to diversify, but the phrase put all your eggs in one basket may be used to describe a fact. The proverb don’t put all your eggs in one basket is attributed to Miguel Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, published in 1605: “…’tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.” However, it is believed that this was a previously well-known Spanish proverb.

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    Examples

    “One thing I learned in this role is that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” she said. (The Daily Progress)

    The saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ goes for investments too – investing in different things spreads your risk. (The New Zealand Herald)

    I also added the following: “The old proverb applies “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and don’t get greedy and chase high returns from one investment product supplier who could come a cropper in the GFC-style event. (Switzer Daily)

    It’s done well so far out of the flight of manufacturers from China – but it’s vulnerable to a broader lesson that companies are drawing from the trade conflict: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. (Bloomberg Businessweek)


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