‘svengali’: meaning and early occurrences

1894—(depreciative) someone who has a controlling influence over another—from the name of the hypnotist under whose spell Trilby falls in ‘Trilby’ (1894), by George Du Maurier

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meaning and origin of ‘curate’s egg’

  The phrase curate’s egg means something that has both good and bad characteristics or parts. This phrase was popularised by True Humility, a cartoon by George du Maurier *, published in Punch, or the London Charivari (London, England) of Saturday 9th November 1895. This cartoon depicts a meek curate who, having been served a stale egg while […]

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