What was said? “They are totally ham and egging us.”
Did someone really say that? Yes, while playing golf with friends in a light 2 vs. 2 scramble.
What does it mean? In the context above, it was meant to say that they are managing to do well/better than us relying/complementing one another to get a decent score despite not even playing that well.
Origin: There are a few different schools of thought on this one. And I’ll explain each below – although none really come with an origin/date associated with them!
- Some believe that calling someone a “ham and egg” refers to a regular, but almost incompetent individual – referring to “old days” where miners would hold boxing matches with the winner taking home money and the loser getting a meal of ham and eggs
- Some believe that it’s pretty logical – ham and eggs go together, so saying they are “ham and egging it” means they are well paired and doing great complementing one another
- The most common theory I found in my research is a bit of #2 above, but that you actually are not playing well and since a golf scramble allows you alternate plays, somehow you are alternating playing poorly so your team manages a good score regardless (the context my example was in) – this dates back to 1980 reference about the Baltimore Orioles; in baseball it’s been used often referring to times when starting pitchers are not doing well and the bullpen “ham and eggs” the win through relief pitchers playing alternating the remaining innings
- A play on the one just above, but the twist is that a meal of “ham and eggs” is fairly basic, non-descript and a relief pitcher is similar in nature
- A different view is that with ham and eggs, the pig is killed while the chicken provides the eggs and is not killed – not sure when you would use the term then, but others say “The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.”