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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a curate's egg

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to the six flavors in the current line-up, Curate will introduce Curate Kids bars this spring, with other new snacks coming later this year.
Children from Linthwaite Clough School present |their artwork to Vicar of Huddersfield Canon Simon Moor and assistant curate Simon Crook at Huddersfield Parish Church 010415GCHURCH_01 JULIAN HUGHES
Phelim, who has been assistant curate (NSM) in the parish for the past two years as well as chaplain at the Cathedral School in Llandaff, takes over as team vicar from Reverend Martin Colton, who has moved to Surrey.
The verb "curate," as it happens, is a candidate for the list.
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In addition, users can add the current song playing on the curate radio station to their own playlists; another first for the music streaming industry.
Baltic community programmer Ilaria Longhi, said the Create and Curate day had been an opportunity to give children more understanding of how exhibitions are put together.
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But to curate examples of efforts consistent with the theme, the company has adopted a simple Tumblr blog.
They will explore the changing traditions of woven, embroidered, printed and dyed clothing and textiles from Africa and curate an exhibition using materials from the museum's collection.
Since September 2010, Ekstein Development, has donated the building's commercial space to non-profit organizations to curate a rotating series of art exhibits.
A PUNK-loving curate hopes to spread the Christian faith - dressed in biker boots, skinny jeans, nose stud and dog collar.