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8 Idioms and Phrases in English using some Easter symbols - Eggs and Rabbits (Bunnies)

The Easter weekend starts today in the UK. Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays.

We have a number of traditions in the UK to celebrate Easter. One of the most popular for children is the Easter Egg Hunt when adults hide the Easter eggs around the garden and the children are given clues to help them find them.

This year there are a number of events organised around the UK for the family to enjoy.

As I was thinking about the key symbols of Easter : the egg and the rabbit (bunny),

I thought of a number of idioms and phrases that we have in the English Language that use these symbols and that are very much part of our everyday language.

Here are 8 idioms and phrases that I’ve picked :

1. To egg someone on - to encourage or dare someone to do something, often something unwise

Ex. I wouldn’t have gone bungee jumping if John hadn’t egged me on to do it.

2. To put all your eggs in one basket - to risk everything in one venture

Ex. When investing in the stockmarket, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. You should diversify your portfolio.

3. To teach someone’s grandmother to suck eggs (informal) - to presume to teach someone something they already know

Ex. I am probably teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but you do realise that you need to switch on the TV before the DVD player will work?

4. To walk on egg shells (Br E) - to be very diplomatic and inoffensive

Ex. She is so stressed at the moment that I feel like I am walking on eggshells to avoid an argument.

5. You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs - In order to do something good, you need to give something else up

Ex. James: ‘We may make a lot of money if we raise our prices, but we will upset a lot of our customers’.

Tony : ‘We cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs’.

6. A chicken and egg situation - a situation where it’s impossible to decide which of two things existed first and which caused the other

Ex. It’s a chicken and egg situation - I don’t know whether I was bad at Maths because I wasn’t interested, or wasn’t interested and therefore was not good at the subject.

7. To be like a rabbit caught in the headlights - to be so surprised or frightened that you cannot move or think

Ex. Each time the directors asked Alan a question he looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

8. To pull a rabbit out of the hat - to do something surprising (it’s often used to show a surprising solution to a problem)

Ex. The Chancellor pulled a rabbit out of the hat by putting together a budget without raising taxes.

Do you know any other idioms and phrases that use the words ‘eggs’ and ‘rabbits’ in them? Please share them with us.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Shanthi Streat xx

Graduated in Politics and International Studies from the University of Southampton, UK in 1989. After 20 years in the world of Finance in such varied fields as life assurance, stockbroking, fund management, and wealth management, she decided to re-train as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Trainer. She studied for the CELTA at International House, London in 2009 and has since been a freelance English Language Trainer both offline and online.

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