English : Curates Egg





What is the meaning and origin of the expression curates egg?

By Mr. Mohamed Ali, Pakistan – 4th June 2007.

Curates Egg can be used as Curate’s Egg. This is an expression which became quite popular because of a cartoon drawn by George du Maurier in Punch magazine in 1895. The cartoon shows a curate (a priest) and a bishop eating breakfast. The curate, unfortunately, has been served a bad egg. The bishop remarks, I am afraid you have got a bad egg. Since the curate doesn't want to offend his host, he replies, “Oh, no My Lord, I assure you! Parts of it are excellent!" So when you say that something is a
curate's egg, it means that it has both good and bad qualities. It is partly good and partly bad. This is a term that is mostly used in British English. Film and drama critics often use this expression to mean that the film or drama being reviewed is passable. It’s neither good nor bad.

Here are a few examples:

• My favorite hero's latest film is a bit of a curate's egg.

• The University is something of a curate's egg. Elegant old buildings surrounded by ugly modern architecture.

One of the ways of pronouncing the
u in curate is like the u in book, took and cook. The a sounds like the i in pit, sit and hit. Some people pronounce it like the a in china. The final e is silent. The stress is on the first syllable.




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