see also, bad egg (antonym)
- a kind person
- a likeable person
- someone good or of good character
- a trusted and reliable person
- someone you can depend on
- someone who always does a good job
- My neighbour, Frank is such a good egg. He always feeds the cat and checks the house if we are away.
- Cathy from the typing pool always brings homemade cakes in on a Friday. She’s such a good egg.
- My best friend’s father is such a good egg, he taxis us around everywhere.
- What a good egg you are! Thank you for all your help, I can always rely on you.
- I wish I could find a husband like Harry. He’s a really good egg. Samantha is so lucky to have such a devoted and kind husband.
It is the exact opposite of the original idiom – a bad egg.
To describe somebody as a Good or Bad Egg would suggest they were either decent, reliable, and dependable or not. The idiom ‘bad egg’ first used in 1855 in Samuel A Hammett’s novel Captain Priest generally included the phrase.
In the language of his class, the Perfect Bird generally turns out to be “a bad egg.”
The analogy he draws is with an egg that on the outside may appear fresh, but when the shell is broken – it may be rotten inside. At the beginning of the 20th-century student begin reversing the phrase and describing decent people as a ‘good egg.’
This phrase is a friendly if rather quaint and old-fashioned way of saying that someone is good, kind-hearted, or that you are fond of them. It alludes, literally to a good egg being one that is edible as opposed to a bad egg being rotten inside.