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Margarine Substitute

(A). A mere imitation. Just as margarine is an imitation and substitute of butter.

“Between a real etching and that margarine substitute a pen-and-ink drawing ... the difference is this: the margarine substitute is essentially flat ... but true etching is in sensible relief.”—Nineteenth Century, May 1891, p. 780.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Margarine Substitute from Infoplease:

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  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: M - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "M"

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