curate-egg

curate's egg

noun British.
something discreetly declared to be partly good but in fact thoroughly bad.

Origin:
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”

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World English Dictionary
curate's egg
 
n
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]

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