museum piece, a(redirected from a museum piece)
Someone or something that is particularly aged or old-fashioned (thus likened to something belonging in a museum). Wow, where'd you get this museum piece? Does it even still work? My grannie is a museum piece of the intolerance and bigotry of the 1950s.
An elderly or old-fashioned item or person, as in When are you going to sell that museum piece of a car? or Aunt Jane comes from another era-she's a real museum piece. This expression originated about 1900 for an article valuable enough for museum display but began to be used disparagingly from about 1915.
museum piece, a
An old-fashioned or decrepit item or person. Basically this term is a genuine description of an item of value or rarity that was used ironically or pejoratively from about 1915 on. John Galsworthy used it in Swan Song (1928): “The girl and her brother had been museum pieces, two Americans without money to speak of.”
See also: museum