fair to middling


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fair to middling

Neither good nor bad; mediocre; lukewarm. Despite reviews that were fair to middling, the film was a huge box-office success. A: "How was your time in France?" B: "Eh, fair to middling. I expected it to be a lot better, to be honest."
See also: fair

fair to middlin'

Rur. mediocre; not bad but not good. (Middling means 'of average quality.') Tom: How are you feeling today? Bill: Fair to middlin'. My sewing is excellent, but my cooking is only fair to middlin'.
See also: fair

fair to middling

Mediocre, pretty good, so-so, as in I asked them how they liked their new home and John answered, "Fair to middling. This phrase, often a reply to an inquiry about one's health, business, or the like, is redundant, since fair and middling both mean "moderately good." [Mid-1800s] Also see can't complain.
See also: fair
References in periodicals archive ?
The second major subject of Dream of Fair to Middling Women draws on Beckett's life at TCD after his return from Paris in 1930 and before his resignation from TCD after Michaelmas term and his departure from Dublin on December 31, 1931.
In many instances the comic twistings involve a display of learning, as in Dream of Fair to Middling Women where Beckett refers to "John of the Crossroads" instead of "St.
Thus the title Dream of Fair to Middling Women is based on the title of Tennyson's poem "A Dream of Fair Women," together with an echo of Chaucer's "The Legende of Good Women.
There are many benefits from this course of action: there's no need to worry about the euro, there's a fair to middling chance you won't be stymied by the language barrier, there are no luggage restrictions and, as yet, they aren't expecting passengers to pass through a full body scanner before they buy their day-to-go tickets.
There's obviously some sort of tension between doing it quickly and doing it well, but at the same time there are people who would like to just do it - and have it done fair to middling - and stimulate the economy and not torture ourselves about doing it slowly and carefully," he said.
It is time to get to grips with these things, which he inherited in dire straits, so for even a fair to middling Executive, the proof of improvement should be easy.
Herself said her prawns were fair to middling but it was a decent-sized starter and set us up nicely for the next course.
Fitfully amusing prequel stands to post fair to middling summer box office numbers, if only because previous pic--which also inspired a mid-'90s TV cartoon show--remains a familiar brand thanks to constant homevid and cable exposure.
If the movie was only fair to middling in quality, so be it.
Beckett's one person too few was the first-person 'I' conventionally considered constitutive of subjectivity; it was a creative struggle that began with the 'we (consensus, here and hereafter, of me)' of Dream of Fair to Middling Women, which passed through a succession of 'vice-existers' culminating in the vertigo of The Unnamable, and was further transformed by the 'personless' or 'last person' prose of the late 1970s and early 1980s, with a different but comparable trajectory followed in the plays from Krapp's Last Tape through Not I to Ohio Impromptu.
Next up, our starters again were fair to middling - or even fair to Middlesbrough, as the Chronicle's very own John Gibson likes to say.
The performances from this cast of bright young things are about as good as you'd expect - fair to middling at best, definitely no Oscars.
Fair to middling, that's the politest way I can put it.