An occasional series explaining the origins of well-known words and phrases
No.2: "Four-minute egg"
WHERE do we get the phrase "Four minute egg"?
in olden times it was used not as a measure of cooking a the perfect
boiled egg (because the egg cup was not invented until the late 1970s),
but because of a ground-breaking experiment by then-Lucasian
Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Sir Isaac Newton.
Through a series of extensive tests, Newton found that the optimum time
to sit on the toilet without leaving a red seat-print on the buttocks
was exactly four minutes.
As the wearing of trousers was out of vogue at
the time, this was all the more important for the gentlemen of
As a result, the term "four-minute egg" to denote
the "laying" of the same became fashionable.
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