Is the use of "egg on" common in colloquial American English? Is it used? I looked up its use on Ngram, but it dosen't hint at the actual usage, so I just felt like asking.

To urge someone to do something, often something mischievous. A noun or pronoun can be used between "egg" and "on."

Trevor's never been in trouble before, so I'm sure his friends egged him on to start the food fight.

Source:The Free Dictionary.

Will "talk into" be more common or is it equally common (in that sense, natural and famous enough to be used in everyday English)

1 Answer 1


As an native American-English speaker, I can say that "egging on" is quite common. When said in conversation, it is readily understood without explanation. It's also very common in literature as well. This phrase is very natural in American-English.

"Egging on" and "talking into" can have different connotations.

When you "egg someone on" it's usually to get them to do something foolish, or unwise. Example: "Sam would not have fought if David hadn't egged him on.'

When you "talk someone into doing something" it can be anything, but is usually a bit more positive. Example: "My mother talked me into coming to the party."

  • And will "talk into" be more common or "egg on"? Jun 1, 2019 at 19:16
  • And what do you think about ""putting someone up to something"? Is it common as well? Jun 1, 2019 at 19:24
  • @It'saboutEnglish You could say you "talked someone into doing something". That is just a common as "egging someone on". The difference in connotation. "Egging someone on" is usually used when you are trying to get the person to do something foolish or unwise. "Talking someone into doing something" is usually a bit more positive like"talking someone into finishing college" or "talking someone into applying for a job."
    – Shino
    Jun 1, 2019 at 19:43
  • @It'saboutEnglish "Putting someone up to something" is also very common, but again, the connotation is different. When you "put someone up to doing some" it's usually begrudgingly or something foolish or unwise. Such as "Why did you break the window? Did he put you up to this?" or "I didn't want to help out but my friend put me up to it."
    – Shino
    Jun 1, 2019 at 19:46

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