chicken and egg

a chicken and egg situation/problem

A situation in which it is unknown what happened, or what needs to happen, first. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. It's a chicken and egg situation.

chicken and egg

1. If something is a chicken and egg situation, it is impossible to decide which of two related things happened first and caused the other. The link between current global temperature and carbon-dioxide emissions is not a chicken and egg situation. Cause and effect are quite clear. It's a chicken-and-egg argument about which comes first: Do people create a neighborhood lifestyle? Or does a neighborhood environment influence how residents live?
2. If something is a chicken and egg problem, it is impossible to deal with a problem because the solution is also the cause of the problem. Until we get promotion, we won't get the top players. But until we get top players, we won't win promotion. It's a chicken and egg problem. Note: This expression comes from the unanswerable question, `Which came first, the chicken or the egg?'
See also: and, chicken, egg
References in periodicals archive ?
The Hairy Bikers' Chicken and Egg BBC2, 8pm Si King and Dave Myers love chicken.
Now some families have developed new strategies to benefit from their chicken and egg production.
The decline in campylobacteriosis and the lack of poultry in shops lasted 4 weeks, exactly the period from seizing all Belgian chicken and egg products from the supermarket shelves until the return of these items.
When it comes to chicken and egg stories, John Wood's is hard to beat.
After all, she was the daughter of a beef salesman, and Bob's father had owned a chicken and egg ranch at Sherman Way and Haskell Avenue in the San Fernando Valley.
With Meat Feasts, we were a bit stuck for puddings, but this does tick all the boxes, from soups to starters, desserts, baking, you've got the lot with chicken and eggs.