An idiom a day keeps your English okay! In this series we examine English idioms and teach you how to use them.
8. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
What’s a basket? Picture the Easter Bunny, if you have that in your culture. He’s probably running around with a basket full of chocolate eggs. Baskets are typically made of wicker, a light wood.
* easter bunny
What It Means
You are a rich person. At a luxurious party full of wine and Ferrero Roche chocolates, someone whispers in your ear ‘buy office chairs’. A business tip! You rush home (or open a smartphone app) and voila – you just invested all your money in companies that make office chairs.
Was that a good idea? If the office chairs companies do well, you will make lots of money. But if people stop buying office chairs, you just lost your whole fortune.
That’s why people say ‘don’t put all your eggs (money) in one basket (investment)’. Better to invest in a variety of companies. One might go bankrupt, but not 100.
– I’m sorry that your aunt died.
– Me too. But she left me lots of money. So that’s good.
– Cool! What are you going to do with it?
– I’m going to buy 20,000 dollars of lottery tickets.
– Yeah! I’m sure to win the jackpot if I buy so many tickets.
– Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Well, you know they say ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.
– I’m not buying eggs. I’m buying lottery tickets. Weren’t you listening?
– Eggs are a metaphor for lottery tickets.
– Then why don’t you just say lottery tickets? Why do you keep banging on about eggs?
– Sigh. Okay, you know the old saying, ‘Don’t put all your money in lottery tickets?’
– Oh, really?
– Yes. Why don’t you buy some nice dividend stocks, and use the income from the dividends to pay for lottery tickets. At least then you’ll retain your starting capital.
– I didn’t understand a single word of that, but let’s do it!
– What happened?
– I just got a text from Umberto.
– The semiologist?
– The sexy semiologist. He wants to meet on Friday evening. ‘For coffee.’
– Great. But don’t you already have a date with Davide? Davide the Dishy Dane?
– Oh, that’s right. I should cancel that.
– Whoa, slow down. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Go on both the dates and see what happens.