Easter Egg

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Easter egg

a bonus or extra feature hidden inside a website, computer game, or DVD, that is only revealed after repeated or lengthy viewing or playing

Easter Egg


a decorated egg. Easter eggs derive from the decorated eggs found in burial mounds belonging to pagan times. The eggs subsequently became a ritual in the celebration of the Christian holiday Easter. Egg decoration, consisting mainly of geometric or foliage designs strictly subordinated to the shape of the egg, is a popular form of decorative art among many peoples, including Slavs.


Sumtsov, N. F. “Pisanki.” Kievskaia Starina, 1891, May-June.
Lubenskii muzei E. N. Skarzhinskoi. Kiev, 1890.

easter egg

(From the custom of the Easter Egg hunt observed in the US and many parts of Europe)

1. A message hidden in the object code of a program as a joke, intended to be found by persons disassembling or browsing the code.

2. A message, graphic, sound effect, or other behaviour emitted by a program (or, on an IBM PC, the BIOS ROM) in response to some undocumented set of commands or keystrokes, intended as a joke or to display program credits.

One well-known early Easter egg found in a couple of operating systems caused them to respond to the command "make love" with "not war?". Many personal computers, and even satellite control computers, have much more elaborate eggs hidden in ROM, including lists of the developers' names (e.g. Microsoft Windows 3.1x), political exhortations and snatches of music. The Tandy Color Computer 3 (CoCo) had images of the entire development team. Microsoft Excel 97 includes a flight simulator!


Easter Egg

An undocumented function hidden in software that may or may not be sanctioned by management. Easter Eggs are secret "goodies" found by word of mouth or accident. They are also used in video games, movies, TV commercials, DVDs, CDs, CD-ROMs and every so often in hardware.

In Applications
Very often, pressing some key combination when the About box is open (Help/About) displays the names of the developers who worked on the software. A video game might display the game designer's name when a certain maneuver is completed.

The Media
A movie or TV Easter Egg could be a date on a calendar of a famous event that provides a clue to the movie's ending. The headline in a newspaper casually lying on the table might offer a clue or perhaps some tongue-in-cheek comment.

The right menu sequence on a DVD might produce extra trailers, and extra bonus tracks (extra goodies) may also be called Easter Eggs.

In Hardware
A hardware Easter Egg might play a song if a certain key combination is pressed. For more information, visit www.eeggs.com. See back door, cheat code and cuckoo egg.
References in periodicals archive ?
Last year, Easter eggs sold for as little as 25P in the week before Easter, as retailers slashed prices to shed stock left over from Woolworths' collapse.
To the retailer: Scan the Kinnerton Easter Egg and put through as 'FREE' item.
Easy and fun to play, players manoeuvre their friendly Hungry Bunny as he hops through flower-filled fields to collect a range of rainbow-coloured Easter eggs.
For your chance to win, just answer: Which website has details of the Easter egg trails?
People are being asked to donate chocolate eggs to either the customer serv-v ices desk or to the Easter Egg Pod situated by the big clock at The Pallasades.
Nestle UK has removed plastic packaging from 80 per cent of its Easter egg range and has reduced the packaging of its entire range by 30 per cent, saving at least 700 tonnes of waste.
We have to hide the Easter eggs before everybody comes
That's the conclusion of some antigay religious leaders who are decrying efforts by gay rights groups Family Pride and Soulforce to encourage gay families to attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on April 17.
Jacqueline and Sadie were among a crowd of about 250 people Saturday who attended the Los Encinos Easter egg hunt at Los Encinos State Historic Park.
The Araucana, sometimes called the Easter egg chicken, really does lay green or blue eggs.
Share your secrets, and you could win a $500 gift certificate in The PAASitively Most Beautiful Easter Egg contest.
To meet the expected uplift in demand, Haribo's popular Starmix(r) Easter Egg is being joined by three new Haribo Easter Egg lines - Mallow Mix, Tangfastics(r) and Kiddies Supermix(r).