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curate's egg

Something that is partly good and partly bad. Taken from a British cartoon about a curate, or priest, who was given a bad egg but focused on the egg's good characteristics as he did not want to offend the person who gave it to him. Primarily heard in UK. Our vacation was a bit of a curate's egg; the first few days were sunny, but the rest of the week was ruined by the heavy rain and flooding.
See also: egg

a curate's egg

BRITISH
If you describe something as a curate's egg, you think that parts of it are good and parts of it are bad. His collection of duets with famous friends is something of a curate's egg. It's a real curate's egg of a production; intermittently brilliant in the first half, but a dreadful disappointment in the second. Note: A curate is a clergyman in the Church of England who helps the vicar or rector of a parish. A well-known Victorian cartoon published in the British magazine `Punch' shows a curate having breakfast with a senior clergyman. The curate has been given a bad egg but he is anxious not to offend anyone, so he says that it is `good in parts'.
See also: egg

a curate's egg

something that is partly good and partly bad.
This expression stems from a Punch cartoon produced in 1895 , showing a meek curate breakfasting with his bishop. bishop: I'm afraid you've got a bad egg, Mr Jones . curate: Oh no, my Lord, I assure you! Parts of it are excellent!
See also: egg

the/a ˌcurate’s ˈegg

(British English) something that has some good things and some bad things about it: ‘Is it an interesting book?’ ‘It’s a bit of a curate’s egg, good in parts. The dialogue’s often quite amusing.’This idiom comes from a story in the magazine Punch. A polite curate (= an assistant to a priest) is given a bad egg while eating in the house of a very senior priest. When asked if he likes the egg, he replies that ‘parts of it are excellent’.
See also: egg
References in periodicals archive ?
CAREFULLY CURATED : The author at the show kitchen of My Mother's Cupboard.
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NEW YORK: CURATED BY SIMON CASTETS) Initially presented in Paris, the New York iteration of this exhibition, which featured the work of the Swiss artist (1926-1993), introduced additional pieces as part of an elegant installation highlighting Bucher's impressive and at times haunting latex molds of objects and architectures.
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Curated by Morag Bain, the Scots presented proposals for five 'coastal machines' (Scotland has an astonishing 6000 miles of coastline) which mixed the practical with the polemic, from GROSS.
An earlier American modernist, Marsden Hartley, received his first major retrospective in the United States in twenty years (Wadsworth Atheneum and subsequent venues, 2003, curated by Elizabeth Kornhauser), as did Elie Nadelman (Whitney Museum, 2003, curated by Barbara Haskell).
She has extensive experience in special collections, having curated several exhibitions of American and Russian materials at the Library of Congress, including "Treasures of the Library of Congress.
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Gucci is showcasing a trilogy of photography exhibitions in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taipei for the Spring Summer 2017 season in celebration of A Magazine Curated By Alessandro Michele.