When I was in America I was offered eggs for breakfast as either 'up', 'down', 'easy' or 'dropped'.

None of them are in use in Britain, where we have our eggs, fried, scrambled, boiled, or poached.

Please could someone match these terms for me?

  • 3
    The waitress was being very terse (probably she was just having some fun). They're usually called "sunny-side up", "sunny side down", and "over easy". I've never heard "dropped", but I wouldn't be surprised if it was either regional in the US, or a term used in restaurants among the staff, but not generally with customers. Where was this. – Peter Shor Nov 15 '13 at 9:07
  • Indianapolis. Several years ago. – WS2 Nov 15 '13 at 9:09
  • Sorry. It may have been Orlando! – WS2 Nov 15 '13 at 9:16
  • 2
    I think she was probably speaking "diner lingo", which undoubtedly has regional variations, but not any I'm familiar with. – Peter Shor Nov 15 '13 at 9:18

I think...

  • up = sunny-side up

  • down = sunny-side down

  • easy:

Eggs cooked "over easy" means that it gets fried on both sides, but the yolk stays runny. To make one, you cook the raw egg just until the whites are set on the bottom, then you quickly flip it over to cook the other side. "Over" refers to flipping the egg, and "easy" refers to the doneness of the yolk. You can also cook eggs "over medium" and "over hard," depending on how cooked you prefer the yolk!


  • dropped = poached

I researched several websites for this.

  • 1
    @WS2: Wrecked? – Peter Shor Nov 15 '13 at 9:16
  • 2
    'Boiled' means in the shell. 3 mins for soft, 5 for hard. Poached is the broken egg cooked in a pan over water. – WS2 Nov 15 '13 at 9:18
  • 1
    I don't say "wrecked", but I don't say "dropped", either. I say "scrambled" and "poached". The terms "wrecked" and "dropped" are "diner lingo", which is a light-hearted jargon that waiters and waitresses use to communicate with short-order cooks in restaurants. The term "eighty-six" has managed to escape from diner lingo to general American slang, but I don't think either "wrecked" or "dropped" has. – Peter Shor Nov 15 '13 at 9:51
  • 2
    Generally, Americans ask for eggs 'poached', 'scrambled', 'hard-boiled', 'soft-boiled', 'fried', 'sunny-side up', 'over easy', 'over medium', or 'over hard' (I'm probably leaving some out). I don't think most Americans would understand 'dropped', and they'd have to think to realize that 'up', 'down', and 'easy' mean 'sunny-side up', 'sunny-side down', and 'over easy'. If you just asked for 'boiled eggs', I don't know whether you'd get them 'soft-boiled' (with a runny yolk) or 'hard-boiled'. – Peter Shor Nov 15 '13 at 10:07
  • 3
    well, thanks for the information. I feel better informed. There was only one official reply, and that is from Lester Nubla, who I believe is a Filipino. So I think he merits the green tick. And our thoughts and good wishes are with his country and many of its folk today. – WS2 Nov 15 '13 at 11:23

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