- something discreetly declared to be partly good but in fact thoroughly bad.
Origin of curate's egg
after a cartoon by G. du Maurier in the English humor 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”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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