curate's egg(redirected from A Curate's egg)
Also found in: Idioms.
n. Chiefly British
Something with both good and bad qualities.
[From a cartoon published in the British humor magazine Punch in 1895 about a curate who, having been served a bad egg by his bishop, said that parts of it were excellent.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
something that has both good and bad parts
[C20: derived from a cartoon in Punch (November, 1895) in which a timid curate, who has been served a bad egg while breakfasting with his bishop, says that parts of the egg are excellent]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
something of mixed quality.
[after a cartoon by German. 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”]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.