Don’t count your eggs before you put the basket down

This sage piece of advice was given by the contributor’s ex.  It is a nice mashup of “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”  (don’t make plans based on future events that might not happen) and “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” (don’t focus all your attention one thing or area).  Both phrases start with “don’t” and both involve hens (chickens and eggs) so there is bound to be confusion.  Apparently after saying this he rationalized the phrase by noting some eggs may fall out or break as you’re putting the basket down.  This is true.  Thanks to Zozie for sharing this one!


I should thank my lucky chickens

This one seems to be a mash up of “thank my lucky stars” (to be thankful for one’s luck) and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (don’t make plans based on future events that might not happen).   My guess is that the speaker might have been thinking of her childhood, having Chicken with Stars soup on a cold winter day or in bed sick with a fever.  Or perhaps she was thinking of the Chinese zodiac and the earth chicken (1909, 1969, 2029), which are lucky with money.  On the other hand, perhaps she had a lucky chicken!  In any event, when she said it she had to send it to me immediately as she knew it must have been a mixed up phrase.  A big thanks to Jillian Strayhorn for uttering this one and sending it in!

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I can’t put all my chickens in one basket

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  Seems like a difficult question given the amount of malaphors posted on this site involving barnyard animals and their offspring ( e.g., all your eggs lined uptoo many eggs spoil the soup, and don’t count your chickens before they come home to roost, to name just a few).  This beauty is a mash up of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” (don’t make everything dependent on one thing) and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” (don’t expect something before it happens).  The speaker may have also been hungry and thinking of a chicken basket.  Yum.  Chicken in a basket used to be a pub favorite in England.   Thanks to Jody Compton for hearing this one uttered by the wonderful actress Lara Hayhurst Compton!