(Mauvais). A time of annoyance. The time between the arrival of the guests and the announcement of dinner is emphatically called the mauvais quart d'heure; but the phrase has a much larger application; thus we say the Cabinet Ministers must have had a mauvais quart d'heure when opening a number of telegrams of a troublesome character.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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