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Archive Language Point 139

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Egg vocabulary

Tim in the cafe with a plate of egg and chips
Here are some descriptions of ways to cook eggs, as well as some phrases and idioms about eggs.

Ways of cooking eggs:

Put an egg in a small pan of water. Bring the water to the boil and simmer egg for about 3 minutes (for a soft-boiled egg) or 7 (for a hard-boiled egg)
I like my boiled eggs not too soft and not too hard.

Put some oil into a frying pan. Break an egg into the pan and fry for a few minutes
Do you fancy a fried egg for breakfast?

Crack 2 or 3 eggs into a small bowl. Whisk the eggs with a fork. Put some oil or butter into a small pan and pour the eggs into the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir the eggs while they are cooking
He always has scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast.

Ways of describing eggs:

the yellow part of an egg (rather than the white part, which is simply called the white of an egg or the white)
To make meringues, you need to separate the yolks from the whites of 6 eggs and use only the whites.

Scrambled or fried eggs can be described as 'runny'. This means the egg still has quite a bit of liquid in it
Tim thought the eggs were a little bit runny.

the opposite of runny
How do you like your eggs - dry or runny?

sunny side up
A fried egg can be 'sunny side up'. It means you only fry it on one side and serve it so that you can see the white on the outside and the yolk in the middle
Here are your eggs - sunny side up.

Egg expressions:

you have to break a few eggs (to make an omelette)
some negative things will have to happen so that there can be a positive result
I know it will mean some people are going to lose their jobs but we have to break a few eggs if the company is going to survive in this competitive market.

to walk on eggshells
to be very careful not to offend someone or do anything wrong
Even though I'm married with kids of my own, whenever my mum comes to stay with me, she makes me really nervous. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells the whole time she's here.

can't boil an egg
unable to cook even the easiest of meals
She has to do everything for him. He's hopeless, he can't even boil an egg.

nest egg
money you save for a special purpose (often for when you are older)
As soon as Jenny was born we started a nest egg to help pay for her university fees.

chicken and egg situation (informal)
when it's impossible to say which of two things existed first or which caused the other one
It's the old chicken and egg situation. They don't want to join the tennis club because they don't know anyone there. But they don't know any of them because they're not in the tennis club.


(of food) not firm or cooked enough

documents which are used to record the amount of time staff work

recording how much stock (or products) a company or business has

got involved in a situation when your involvement wasn't wanted or wasn't helpful

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