Much begins with eggs, of course, unless it begins with chickens. But leaving aside that old conundrum (which came first?) for now, it’s certainly true that eggs are synonymous with spring and new beginning in a way chickens never will be. That’s why hard-boiled eggs get painted glorious colors for Easter and also why we hunt for them–opportunity and fresh starts come mostly to seekers.
With such a potent place in our culture, eggs naturally have an interesting place in the language, too. Eggs pop up a lot, as the newly revamped Dictionary.com tells us. (Dictionary.com is another good place to hunt for colorful things!) Egghead, lay an egg, teach your grandmother to suck eggs, egg on your face, walk on eggshells, nest eggs, eggs all in one basket, egg someone on–that’s just a taste, if you will. These egg expressions are remarkably broad. (You might tell a whole story by just scrambling egg phrases together.) The most fun modern usage is the popular “Easter Eggs” that dot movies and video games, especially in popular franchises. Here, as Dictionary.com explains, an Easter egg is: