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What is the meaning of pelted with eggs in the following context?

I saw the following post on Facebook. The video shows two women stealing a charity box. The description says

The two Romanian gypsies pelted with eggs yesterday are at it again, this time stealing a charity box.

I couldn't find in the video neither eggs nor throwing something, then I guess that these words ("pelted with eggs") are an idiom rather than literally meaning.

By googling in some on-line dictionaries I didn't find an answer.

By googling I found it a lot especially in news sites. Here are 2 examples:

President of Venezuela 'pelted with eggs' as protesters fight back over food and medicine shortages (mirror.co.uk)

Another one is:

Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall pelted with eggs while campaigning in Stoke-on-Trent (mirror.co.uk)

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    Have you looked up pelt, verb, in a dictionary? what did you find? Jun 2, 2017 at 14:38
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    Yes, I did. The meaning is a similar to throw. Isn't it?/ Jun 2, 2017 at 15:02
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    It was my mistakes that I ignored the word "yesterday", when I realized it was already late... I am sorry for that. I think to delete this question. Jun 2, 2017 at 15:54
  • Ideally, by the way, the eggs would be rotten. But it's hard these days to find rotten eggs on short notice.
    – Hellion
    Jun 2, 2017 at 16:29
  • @Hellion depends on the ... severity of what you want to express by doing it. Jun 2, 2017 at 22:02

3 Answers 3

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The comment says that those two women were pelted with eggs "yesterday". "Are at it again" means they are doing "it" again. In this context, "it" refers to some kind of crime, and we can reasonably assume it's the next day ("today"). Since it's a new day, it seems reasonable that they are no longer covered in yolk and bits of shell in the video. This is why neither the egg remains nor the pelting was in the video, which made it harder to detect that it was literal, not figurative.

This is not an idiom. In each case, the people were actually attacked with eggs.

In the article What do you do when society is bordering on collapse? Egg the president, you can see that the president was in fact egged (= attacked with eggs).

In the article Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall pelted with eggs in Stoke-on-Trent, you can see that they were also attacked with eggs.

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    It was my mistakes that I ignored the word "yesterday", when I realized it was already late... I am sorry for that. Jun 2, 2017 at 15:54
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    No problem. It's understandable.
    – Em.
    Jun 2, 2017 at 16:02
  • It's also understandable somebody would want to pelt these dudes with eggs :) Jun 2, 2017 at 22:00
  • Throwing rotten eggs, fruit, and vegetables as a protest has a long history. There is an account of the Roman emperor Vespasian being pelted with rotten vegetables as a protest against food shortages. The basic idea of the medieval criminal punishment of the "stocks" was to restrain the victim from running away while the general public throw whatever they liked at him. It was also common as a protest against bad performances in theaters, as far back as Shakespeare's time.
    – alephzero
    Jun 3, 2017 at 1:32
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"Pelted with eggs" simply means "hit with (numerous) eggs that were thrown at them".

I've never heard it used in anything but a literal sense, but I suppose it could be used metaphorically as a way of describing someone receiving criticism. If so, that would just be a metaphor, not an idiom.

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  • Pelting literally means hit with a lot of similar things traveling through the air. "Pelting rain" is a phrase that appears often in literature. So, pelting someone with something generally means throwing a lot of those things at the person, many of them hitting the person.
    – Jeffiekins
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:14
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What may make this sentence hard to understand is the omitted words that are implied, which is something that often occurs in English. It would be more clearly said:

The two Romanian gypsies who were pelted with eggs yesterday are at it again...

When said explicitly, it looks much less like a possible idiom.

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