Nominal Egg

Kathleen E. Miller millerk at NYTIMES.COM
Wed Jul 31 19:24:49 UTC 2002

I have searched through the databases and the ancient card catalogue of
columns and can find no reference to or usage of "nominal egg" in Safire's
columns. In fact, I can't find a use of "nominal egg" anywhere in the NY

Lederer noticed it in his "Jumping to Confusions" chapter of "More
Anguished English" [1993] as "Nominal Leg." [Searched WS's columns for
"nominal leg", "arm and a leg" and several combos thereof - nothing.]

Kathleen E. Miller
Research Assistant to William Safire
The New York Times

At 08:30 PM 7/30/02 -0700, you wrote:
>Just got this from my brother-in-law and thought I'd post it here for comment:
>>A number of years ago Safire had a nice column in which he posited
>>that people would say "nominal egg" instead of "an arm and a leg". I
>>decided to (look)for that article but instead found a number of
>>people simply using the term. Do you have any information about the
>>history of the term and whether it was already in use before his

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