Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Deeply Dippy

Dippy: silly, especially in a pleasant or funny way, odd, eccentric, or crazy {yep, that probably applies to me]

Well firstly, there's Dippy The Diplodocus, about to start his tour of the UK, having left his spot in the National History Museum, where he has been since 1905...
He begins in Dorset Museum [February to May 2018] and ends in Norwich Cathedral [July -October 2020] so I hope to catch him at one location or the other.
Then there's Deeply Dippy, the Right Said Fred song [now 25 years old]
But I am thinking about Dippy Eggs.
Bob was a bit under the weather on Monday, having had a long and exceptionally busy weekend, and he'd got a bit of a cough - so I decided some TLC was in order, and cooked him a special breakfast of two boiled eggs.
Don't you just love my egg cosies?
My friend Pam knitted them as a gift for me, five years ago. I had lent her my excellent Debbie Bliss "Knitter's Year" book, and she'd done this pattern from it as a thankyou.
But as well as the two eggs, I prepared a whole heap of 'soldiers' for him to dip in.
There are various suggestions about the name
- some say it is because when cut from a slice of toast, they look like serried ranks of soldiers. [serried comes from the French serré meaning close together]
- others say that when dipped in the egg, they look like a soldier with a big helmet on
- others say that in some places [especially Canada] these are called Humpty Dumpty Eggs, and these represent 'all the Kings Men' unable to put things together again.
Some people call them not soldiers, but 'Ladies' Fingers' [Which I thought was either a term for okra, or an alternative name for boudoir/sponge finger biscuits]
The oddest thing I discovered was in Wikipedia, which says the first evidence of this term in print was 1966, although Tony Hancock referred to 'soldiers' for his egg in a commercial of 1965.
So what I would like to know, from you erudite readers, are these things...
What do your family called soft boiled eggs?
Have you come across the term 'Humpty Dumpty Eggs'  in Canada in anywhere else?
If you call them 'soldiers', WHEN did you start using the term?
I only ask because it was my Grandad [who died in 1962] who told me they were soldiers when I was very young. And he muttered about the evils of WW1.  I do not like soft boiled eggs - but would occasionally pinch someone else's dipped soldier and bite its head off.  So Wikipedia must have something wrong somewhere.
Meanwhile, Bob is soldiering on bravely...


  1. I've always known them as egg soldiers (born 1958). I assumed it was because the bread strips were in a neat rank across the plate (unlike yours I note).

  2. Thanks for your comment and date - and yes, my platoon is rather a tangled heap [more Dad's Army, less Coldstream Guards!]

  3. We always called them soldiers in our house, but I was born in 1968 and I don't know when my mother would have started using the term. We are excited about Dippy coming to Belfast- we've had the Weeping Window from the Tower of London, and it's nice being a tour stop for great and lovely things!

  4. Oh dear my term for them is rather childish but as a mature lady of 67, I still refer to them as 'chuckies and dippies' and enjoy them once or twice a week for breakfast. My first grandchild is due in the Spring and regardless of parental approval , I shall be teaching him or her my bit of sweet, grandmotherly silliness.

  5. Always soldiers since I was little... Impossible to eat soft boiled eggs without them!

  6. I've read of the term soldiers to refer to the bread. The soft boiled eggs were usually called parboiled eggs.


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