curate's egg
noun Etymology: from the story of a curate who was given a stale egg by his bishop and declared that parts of it were excellent Date: 1905 chiefly British something with both good and bad parts or qualities

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • curate's egg — ► curate s egg Brit. something that is partly good and partly bad. [ORIGIN: from a cartoon in Punch (1895) depicting a meek curate who, given a stale egg when dining with the bishop, assures his host that ‘parts of it are excellent’.] Main Entry …   English terms dictionary

  • curate's egg — (UK) If something is a bit of a curate s egg, it is only good in parts …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • curate's egg — n. [based on a joke in an 1895 issue of the English magazine Punch: when served a stale egg at his bishop s home, a timid curate says that parts of it are excellent] Brit. something that has both good and bad characteristics or parts …   English World dictionary

  • Curate's egg — Bishop: I m afraid you ve got a bad egg, Mr Jones ; Curate: Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent! True Humility by George du Maurier, originally published in Punch, 1895. The expression a curate s egg originally meant… …   Wikipedia

  • curate's egg — ¦kyu̇rə̇ts¦ ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: so called from a cartoon in the weekly Punch depicting a curate who was given a stale egg by his bishop and declared that parts of it were excellent chiefly Britain : something with both good and bad parts or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • curate’s egg — n [sing] a thing that is partly good and partly bad. The phrase comes from a cartoon in the British magazine Punch in 1895, in which a nervous young curate (= priest) is having breakfast with a bishop. The bishop says ‘I’m afraid you’ve got a bad …   Universalium

  • curate's egg — (UK)    If something is a bit of a curate s egg, it is only good in parts.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Curate's egg —   (UK)   If something is a bit of a curate s egg, it is only good in parts …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • curate's egg — cu′rate s egg′ n. brit. something of mixed quality • Etymology: after a cartoon by G. du Maurier in the English weekly Punch (Nov. 9, 1895): a meek curate, when served a bad egg at the bishop s table, replies that “parts of it are excellent” …   From formal English to slang

  • curate's egg — Brit. something that is partly good and partly bad. [from a cartoon in Punch (1895) depicting a meek curate who, given a stale egg when dining with the bishop, assures his host that ‘parts of it are excellent’.] → curate …   English new terms dictionary

  • curate's egg — Brit. something discreetly declared to be partly good but in fact thoroughly bad. [after a cartoon by G. du Maurier in the English humor weekly Punch (Nov. 9, 1895): a meek curate, when served a bad egg at the bishop s table, replies that parts… …   Universalium

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