a blessing and a curse

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a blessing and a curse (plural not attested)

  1. Something that is both a benefit and a burden, or that may seem initially beneficial but also brings unforeseen negative consequences
    • Deuteronomy 26–28:
      Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse:
      A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day.
      and a curse if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods which ye have not not known.
    • 1835, The London Riddler; or, The Art of Teasing Made Easy:
      What is that which is a friend and an enemy, a blessing and a curse, which saves life and takes it away; is long and short, round and square, rough and smooth, straight and crooked, hard and soft, hot and cold, and most wanted when it is in greatest plenty; which accommodates itself to all palates; is sweet and of bad smell, strong and weak; sometimes able to bear great burdens, but at other times will not bear a pin.
    • 1940, Olive G. Gibson, The Isle of a Hundred Harbors, B. Humphries, Incorporated, page 204:
      On the whole the Contrabando was both a blessing and a curse; it was a blessing and a great benefit in that it brought the necessities of life to the people, but a curse in that it was training them in intrigue, because the contrabandistas often resorted to piracy along the sequestered coasts and on the open seas; they would sell their commodities to the people, then turn around and loot the cattle and hogs in the fields.


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