nest egg

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nest egg (plural nest eggs)

  1. A natural or artificial egg placed in a bird's nest, to encourage the bird to lay its own eggs there.
    • 1879, Patent No. 211,363, issued Jan. 14, 1879 to O. F. Woodward for a Nest-Egg:
      My improvement relates to artificial eggs composed of a substance which is offensive to insects, the object being to render the same effective, not only as a nest-egg, but also as a destroyer of vermin.
  2. (figuratively) A saving; a reserve of money.
    Over time, they accumulated a tidy nest egg and retired comfortably.
    • 1915, W.S. Maugham, chapter XXXIX, in Of Human Bondage:
      When Mrs. Carey was married she had three hundred pounds, and this money, carefully watched, had been used by her to meet any unforeseen expense, any urgent charity, or to buy Christmas and birthday presents for her husband and for Philip. In the course of years it had diminished sadly, but it was still with the Vicar a subject for jesting. He talked of his wife as a rich woman and he constantly spoke of the "nest egg".
    • 1985, Albert Brooks, Lost in America, spoken by David Howard (Albert Brooks):
      This is just like "Easy Rider." Except, now it's our turn. I mean, we can drop out and we can still have our nest egg!
  3. An egg squash.