Not to play the pedant here, but I doubt that Nova Scotia is the origin of the saying. Consider this quote:
‘Tis the part of wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket. (Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605-)
The expression is almost certainly older than that, as it was, even at that time, a well-established proverb and also well-known in a slightly different form of “don’t hazard all in one bottom” i.e. “don’t risk everything in a single ship”, which was good advice in the days of sail as shipwreck and pirates were much more common.
The “eggs” version almost without question refers to hen’s eggs, as that would be an easily visualized and broadly understood sense for the majority of the population. It is very unlikely that an obscure fishing term from Eastern Canada would have made it’s way into Italian culture and trade by the mid 1600s.
Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly
June 10, 2017
May 20, 2021