curate's egg


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Related to curate's egg: farrago

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 ?
So we end where we started: a curate's egg in which the good bits are very good indeed.
This ultimately renders the book something of a curate's egg.
John Grisham's first foray into teenage fiction has resulted in a curate's egg of a book.
I found this book to be a perfect example of a literary curate's egg, i.
At just seven tracks long, PSI is a curate's egg of a release - too long to be an EP and too short to be an album - yet nevertheless, it is clear that here can be found one of the true innovators on the Welsh-language scene.
This is a curate's egg of a book: the good bits are the wonderful illustrations (many in colour), parts of the text, and the fact that we desperately need to look at a model such as Siena, where civilisation flourished, to teach us what a city should be about.
Once again, then, this is very much a curate's egg of an edition, and at 84 euros is far from being a bargain.
He described himself as an "incurable optimist" who saw society as a curate's egg - good in parts.
Like the curate's egg, recent progress on the REACH initiative is seen by the British Coatings Federation, BCF, as being 'good in parts' for the UK coatings industry.
Nonetheless, Bad Eggs walks a fine blue line, and Martin's deft handling prevents the incongruent elements from becoming a curate's egg.
LORD HASKINS HAS LABOURED in the rural delivery ward and produced a curate's egg.
This volume is best described as a mixture, both in the sense the curate's egg was, and in what it sets out to do.
Like the curate's egg, parts of this are very good: Witness the fine alliteration at the top of the second sentence, the excellent assonance in wheeled and steely.
This book is very much of a curate's egg, with little discernible connection between its assorted parts.