Green’s Dictionary of Slang

curate n.

[all senses play on the junior, and thus inferior, position of a curate in the local church hierarchy]

1. [late 19C] a small poker, with an iron tip; such a poker is actually used, as opposed to the elaborate brass fire-irons, displayed only for show.

2. [late 19C] a handkerchief that is actually used, rather than one that is worn for fashionable display.

3. [late 19C] the top half of a sliced teacake, which receives less butter.

4. [late 19C–1900s] (Anglo-Irish) a grocer’s assistant.

5. [late 19C–1940s] (Irish) an assistant barman.