(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