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 qualities

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curate's egg
Brit : something that has both good and bad parts or qualities

The concert was a bit of a curate's egg: good in some parts, bad in others.

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Main Entry:curate
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curate's egg — see curate
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Main Entry:egg

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curate’s egg [curates egg] noun [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 egg there’ and the curate, not wanting to upset the bishop, replies, ‘Oh no, my Lord! … Parts of it are excellent!’

Their investment plan shows the familiar curate’s egg pattern of some bits doing well and others doing badly.


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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

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