mess of pottage

Definition of mess of pottage

:something valueless or trivial or of inferior value used especially of something accepted instead of a rightful thing of far greater value
  • suspense is the mess of pottage for which the Shakespearean birthright has been sold
  • —E. R. Bentley

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Origin and Etymology of mess of pottage

Middle English mes of potage; from allusion to Esau's selling of his birthright to his twin brother Jacob for a mess of pottage (Genesis 25:29–34)


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