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To not like the expression 'good egg' being used to refer to a persons character

(156 Posts)
giraffeupatree Wed 16-Mar-16 09:29:28

It is being used in the Co-op's Easter advert on the radio. It makes me wince each time I hear it.

Am I being far to politically correct?

I'm assuming that the marketing department of the Co-op have not researched the origins of the expression?

molyholy Wed 16-Mar-16 09:31:05

Please enlighten me on its' origins. I have no idea why this is offensive.

DropYourSword Wed 16-Mar-16 09:31:25

You're going to have to expand on this for those of us who also don't know the origins of the expression!

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:31:42

Oh you cant leave that hanging - what are these un pc origins?

Isnt it just terribly far back and 1940s jolly hockey sticks?

Sgoinneal Wed 16-Mar-16 09:31:50

Honestly had never heard of any unpleasant origin until now - so Yanbu, but I think people, myself included, are completely unaware rather than being deliberately offensive.

PirateSmile Wed 16-Mar-16 09:33:35

It's pure speculation as to what the origins are, so I can't see what your problem is.

Gazelda Wed 16-Mar-16 09:33:53

I've never heard of the expression being offensive. Tell us more ...

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:34:07

Yes op you are being daft

giraffeupatree Wed 16-Mar-16 09:35:01

It's comes from old cockney rhyming slang and was used on the docks years ago to describe good workers who had come to work from other countries, so 'egg and spoon c**n'.

cosmicglittergirl Wed 16-Mar-16 09:36:34

I imagine the makers of the advert had no idea of the suggestion of what 'a good egg' could be linked to. (Nor did I until I googled it just now). The article I read said that there was a 'possible' link between the phrase 'a good egg' and rhyming slang 'egg and spoon' = coon.

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:36:55

Isnt it more likely to be the opposite of 'a bad egg'? And anyway their marketing campaign is not 'egg and spoon' is it?

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:37:37

Those posh eton types being renouned for their use of cockney rhyming slang of course

BertrandRussell Wed 16-Mar-16 09:38:13

"It's comes from old cockney rhyming slang and was used on the docks years ago to describe good workers who had come to work from other countries, so 'egg and spoon c**n'."

References, please.

OurBlanche Wed 16-Mar-16 09:38:26

Would you believe that a newspaper decided that the whole expression must be egg and spoon, which rhymes with coon and therefore the meaning is not that 'a good egg' means a jolly decent black person. However, as all racists are prone to being truly dastardly, the saying is inverted, so saying 'good egg' actually means bad egg. Extrapolated into all black people are bad!

Google threw this up (lacking links/references) A report in the Manchester Guardian claimed that police were instructed not to use the phrase because it was too closely linked with 'egg and spoon' rhyming slang for 'coon', an offensive racial slur.

I think Wodehouse and other posh chums would be astounded! The term 'bad egg' came first, someone who isn't very nice. That's it!

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 16-Mar-16 09:39:44


Arfarfanarf Wed 16-Mar-16 09:39:50

I thought it came out of the term 'bad egg' which was likening a horrible person to a rotten egg. Natually the opposite of a bad egg/bad person is a good egg/good person so the phrase good egg was born.

BombadierFritz Wed 16-Mar-16 09:41:44

Well arf that sounds far too simple to be true. Surely it must be a rhyming slang derivative further complicated by the use of ironic opposition?

duckyneedsaclean Wed 16-Mar-16 09:42:13

I'm pretty sure it's used in Wodehouse books, and doubt he used cockney rhyming slang.

OurBlanche Wed 16-Mar-16 09:42:28


Egg and spoon is deemed to be a rhyming slang term suggesting "coon" - a racially offensive phrase used towards black people - and good egg is said to be linked to it.

From the Stephen Lawrence enquiry

So, it seems that currently, in our uber PC world, many such sayings are being made 'sensitive'. Some rightfully so, others, well, maybe not!

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 16-Mar-16 09:42:56

What a load of bollocks. It's all supposition and, as somebody said upthread, extrapolation.

AnUtterIdiot Wed 16-Mar-16 09:43:37

I'd never heard of "egg and spoon" as rhyming slang but I don't think it means that use of the phrase "a good egg" (which everyone knows means "a decent person") has become offensive, OP.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 16-Mar-16 09:43:57

Oh good god.

OfaFrenchmind2 Wed 16-Mar-16 09:44:08

This etymology is a very thin possibility, do not be silly.

Seriously, by the way things are going, the British language will have lost all expressions and 50% of its words in 10 years, for fear of possibly, maybe, of the off-chance, etc. risk of offending somebody or something.

Which is a crying shame, because you have a very rich and beautiful language, with particularities that are delightful, and make learning it a real pleasure.

albertcampionscat Wed 16-Mar-16 09:44:21

Bertie Wooster uses it. I must have lost my copy of 'Jeeves & Wooster stevedores'.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 16-Mar-16 09:44:47

The vast majority of people know the phrase to mean something entirely innocuous.

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