Easter Egg

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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!

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

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.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Huddersfield, Sainsbury's at Shorehead will get its first delivery of boxed eggs on January 7, while Asda at Bradford Road will start selling Easter eggs in mid-January.
Fill a jar with as many Easter eggs as will fit - you can mix the sizes to make it more difficult - and ask everyone to put ideas as to how many are there on a piece of paper and ask them to fold it or put it into an envelope.
The Easter Egg Hunt running from Good Friday right through to Easter Monday from to 4pm.
Souvenir White House Easter eggs first became an annual keepsake in 1981, when President and Mrs.
President, I got your message," Kid President responded over a tin can phone before talking about the "historic" Easter egg roll.
A spokesperson for the centre said: "This is the second year we have done an Easter Egg hunt, and we were really pleased with the turn out.
Yes, the kids had fun creating their painted Easter egg, and impressive though their art was, some happily ate it, too.
Tampa, FL, April 27, 2019 --(PR.com)-- On Easter Sunday, nearly 8,000 children and their families gathered in downtown Clearwater's Coachman Park for the 27th Annual Ginormous Easter Egg Hunt, organized by the Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV).
The nursery, based in Chester city centre, first became involved in the Alder Hey Easter Egg Donation a number of years ago.
There's a hidden "Easter egg" on Google's UK home page today, and anyone who find it is in for a special treat.
Bayliss & Harding Pink Fizz & Elderflower Easter Egg Gift Set, PS12, Ocado and Next The perfect place to store eggs - chocolate or otherwise!
The Palatine Jaycees will be entertaining local children up to 9 years with the annual Easter egg hunt at Oak Park.