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Last updated at 12:33 GMT, Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Good Egg


Welcome to our new series about slang. In this first episode Wang Fei and Rob discuss how William is like an egg.

A fried egg

The script from this programme:

Rob: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Rob Carter.

Wang Fei: And I'm Wang Fei. Did you enjoy the party at the weekend, Rob?

Of course! And it was good of William to buy all that food and drink – he's a good egg!

Wang Fei:
A good egg?

Yes, he's someone who is good to other people and he's generous too!

Wang Fei: So you're telling me William is a good egg because he's a generous person and he put on a good party?

Rob: Well not just that. He's reliable too – he always does what he says he will do – like helping me with the decorating.

Wang Fei: So a good egg is really a nice person to know then?

Rob: Yes, a good egg is an all round good guy.

Wang Fei: A good guy. Are we really talking about William?!

Rob: We are.

  • Thanks for buying me lunch, you really are a good egg!
  • I think we can trust her, she really is a good egg.

Rob: So these examples of using good egg mean someone is a reliable, trustworthy and generous person.

Wang Fei: It's a very British term isn't it?

Rob: It is, which is why I tend to say it in a posh voice – good egg. Of course, the opposite of a good egg is a bad egg. Let's hear how this term is used…

  • He's a bad egg. I can't rely on him to do anything!
  • How can I trust you to be on time? You're such a bad egg!

Rob: So in these examples bad egg is used to describe someone who is not reliable and untrustworthy.

Wang Fei: Actually Rob, I meant to tell you - I bought all the food and drink for William's party. He had forgotten to get any.

Rob: Really? Did he have egg on his face?

Wang Fei:
Excuse me?

Rob: If you have egg on your face it means you're extremely embarrassed by your actions.

Wang Fei: Oh I see! William certainly had egg on his face but we still had a good party.

Of course we did!

Wang Fei:
Well don’t forget to check our website.

That's for lots more useful English words and phrases.

Bye bye.


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