lay an egg

(redirected from lays eggs)

lay an egg

1. To bear an egg, as of animals such as birds. Did the hen lay an egg today?
2. To do something very poorly. We really laid an egg last night and lost the game 7-0.
See also: egg, lay

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

lay an egg, to

To fail, to make an embarrassing mistake. In Britain this term comes from cricket, where a player or team failing to score has, since the mid-nineteenth century, been said to get a duck’s egg (meaning 0, or zero). In America the term appeared in the latter part of the nineteenth century in vaudeville and theater, similarly signifying a flop of a performance. It was transferred to other arenas by the early twentieth century, and fittingly, a headline in Variety (the American chronicle of show business at the time) read, in October 1929, “Wall Street Lays An Egg.”
See also: lay
References in periodicals archive ?
'People should keep their houses clean and should avoid fresh water from accumulating in the house because dengue mosquito lays eggs in fresh water.
Dysdercus cingulatus lays eggs singly or in small, loose clusters on the bottom of petri-dish (Verma et al., 2013).
Terry Golson's TILLIE LAYS AN EGG (054500537X, $16.99) tells of hens and how they lay eggs, providing a photo shoot of one Tillie the chicken, who lays eggs in unexpected places.
One race feeds and lays eggs mostly on corn, while the other prefers hops or mugwort.
But Robacker was more interested in discovering why the Mexican fruit fly annually lays eggs in South Texas grapefruit orchards if grapefruit are not naturally attractive.
While he's moved when he watches the massive adults lay eggs in the sand ("she cries while she lays eggs so sand doesn't get in her eyes"), the "best part is when I have a bucket full of turtles, and I watch them crawl into the water, and they poke their heads up with the sunrise reflected all around them.
Those of us who enjoy an egg for breakfast but have been trying to limit our cholesterol intake were initially excited to learn that poultry breeders had developed a strain of hen that lays eggs significantly lower in cholesterol.
There is no single breed that lays eggs with double yolks, most of them come from younger hens.
Before a female spotless starling lays eggs, her mate brings bits of wild mint, lavender, and other herbs to the nest.
Turns out, it belongs to a 160-million-year-old dolphin-like marine reptile (backboned animal that lays eggs) called an ichthyosaur.
The female wriggles into the flask-shaped flower, lays eggs, and dies there.
And rather than carry her young internally, she lays eggs!
Mom lays eggs in the pool, which the tadpole gobbles.
HOW IT GETS THERE: Female botfly lays eggs on a mosquito's abdomen.