Why Is It Called A Nest Egg?

When kids start to learn about money, they are told that they need to build up a nest egg.  This refers to a person’s savings and how he or she should put aside some of the money that they have now, so it will grown and they can use that money later in life.  Building a nest egg is a great concept, but hearing that term made me wonder why it is called that.

Here’s my guess at why it is called a nest egg:

It was the 1700’s and Mr. and Mrs. Bank wanted to teach their kids the importance of saving money.  Some day the kids would have to buy a horse of their own and the Bank parents wanted to make sure their kids could afford said horse.

Initially the Bank parents encouraged their kids to store money away for later by calling it their “hay pile.”  Mr. and Mrs. Bank liked the term “hay pile” because the hay reminded the kids that they were saving up to buy a horse.  The kids were such great listeners that they actually started putting their money in the hay inside the family barn.

Unfortunately, this created a major problem.  The family horses weren’t aware of the team “hay pile” and did not realize that the kids’ savings had been put in their hay.  Yes, you guessed it, the horses then ate all the kids’ savings.  This caused the horses to become sick and die, which cased the Bank parents to have to dip into their own “hay pile” to buy new horses.  Luckily, the Bank parents’ “hay pile” was stored in a bucket, (along with a list of things they had to do before their died) so their savings did not get eaten.

Realizing that they needed a better term to teach their kids about saving, Mr. and Mrs. Bank thought about other wildlife examples.  They needed a new term that would help their kids learn, but wouldn’t cause all their money to be eaten.

Eventually the parents settled on the term “nest egg” because their kids were terrible at climbing trees.  Mr. and Mrs. Bank knew that their kids would not be able to put their money in an actual nest if they took the term literally again.

Here’s the real answer to why it is called a nest egg:

According to phrases.org, farmers in the 14th century used to put eggs in their hen’s nest to encourage her to have more eggs.  They thought that having the hen see eggs would cause her to have eggs of her own.

Nest Egg Ruling:

Did 14th century farmers really think that putting eggs into a hen’s nest would actually help her lay eggs? I think it would do just the opposite.  If I were a hen and an egg magically appeared in my nest, I would be less likely to lay an egg ever again.  I wouldn’t want to go through all the hard work of laying an egg if eggs were just going to show up in my nest on their own.  Instead, I would just do whatever I wanted and hope that the magic egg fairy would stop by again.

Overall, I guess the real story makes a little more sense in terms of saving than mine does. But I think mine is more fun than dopey farmers trying to trick their hens into having more eggs.  What do you think?

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