lay an egg


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lay an egg

 
1. Lit. [for a hen, etc.] to deposit an egg. Old Red stopped laying eggs, so we stewed her for Sunday dinner.
2. Fig. [for someone] to do something bad or poorly; to perform poorly on stage. I guess I really laid an egg, huh? The cast laid an egg in both performances.
See also: egg, lay

lay an egg

Fail, especially in a public performance; make a humiliating error. For example, Carol really laid an egg last night when she forgot her lines, or, as Variety had it in October 1929: "Wall Street Lays An Egg." The term originated in the late 1800s in vaudeville and was extended to nontheatrical failures in the early 1900s.
See also: egg, lay

lay an egg

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If something lays an egg, it fails because people are not interested in it or do not want it. Independent studies showed the ad laid an egg. Long before they had finished making it, Stamp knew that the movie would lay an egg. Note: This expression is probably derived from the idea of an egg being round and therefore resembling a zero. A `duck' (duck's egg) is a score of zero in British sport, and the equivalent in American sport is a `goose egg'.
See also: egg, lay

lay an egg

be completely unsuccessful; fail badly. North American informal
See also: egg, lay

lay an ˈegg

(informal, especially American English) fail or make a mistake: He laid an egg with these proposals with the very people he wanted most to convince.Columnists sometimes lay an egg, but Martin has laid an ostrich omelette.
See also: egg, lay

lay an egg

1. tv. [for someone] to do something bad or poorly. I guess I really laid an egg, huh?
2. tv. [for something] to fail. The community theater laid an egg last night with the opening performance of Death of a Salesman. The film was fun to make, but it laid an egg at the box office.
3. tv. to laugh very hard; to cackle long and loudly. (As if one were a chicken.) Half the audience laid an egg when I told this one.
See also: egg, lay

lay an egg

Informal
To fail, especially in a public performance.
See also: egg, lay