a dime a dozen

‘A Dime a Dozen’ Used to Refer to Eggs

Just a dime for a dozen eggs? Wouldn’t that be egg-cellent!
a dime a dozen

How egg-citing!

They used to be a rarity, but these days, plant-based “meat” products are a dime a dozen. And just like the “meat” in a vegan sausage, we bet you have absolutely no idea where the phrase “a dime a dozen” comes from. It’s age-old, that’s for sure, and things sure were a lot less expensive in the old days. Beer, for example, was super cheap back in the day. A gallon of milk was definitely worth less than a dollar. But what on Earth could you ever pay just a dime for in exchange for a whole dozen?

How Much a Dozen Eggs Cost the Year You Were Born

In a world where people take out mortgages trying to pay for some avocado toast, we had to know. So we did a little Google sleuthing. Lo and behold: It was eggs.

Yes, you read that correctly. Eggs, the food without which we wouldn’t have omelets, cake batter, and mayonnaise, also gave us this glorious phrase. Thanks, eggs!

You see, back in the 1800s, a snazzy way to price food and drink items was to laud the fact that they only cost a dime to buy. Eggs were, and still are, sold a dozen at a time. Seeing as the dime itself was only first minted in 1796, using the dime as currency was a new concept. Hence, the intrigue and eventual coining of the phrase "a dime a dozen."


Now, this refers to something unremarkable or worthless — certainly not a quality of actual eggs. Yes, they used to cost a dime. But eggs are really quite fantastic. These 19 other fascinating facts about them will have you flipping out.