Ham and egger

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Nov 1963 The Ring

The term "ham and egger" has connotations ranging from that of "ordinary person" to that of "loser." Some people proudly call themselves a "ham and egger," using it to mean an "ordinary person" or "nobody special." Other people use it as an insult: "He'll never amount to anything. He's just a ham and egger."

In boxing, it is synonymous for "palooka" or "tomato can"--those boxers who would never be contenders; they were just around to serve as opponents and sparring partners for contenders on their way up. They didn't get big prizes like the winners, just enough to pay for their meals--their "ham and eggs."

"HAM-AND-EGGER - n. 1. Orig. Boxing. an amateur or semiprofessional boxer, esp. of mediocre skills (broadly) an oaf; palooka... (From Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, H-O by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.)"

Courtesy of Hungry Browser