could be worse

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could be worse

A somewhat positive response to a question about one's well-being (such as "How are you?"). A: "How are you?" B: "Not too bad—things could be worse."
See also: could, worse

(Things) could be worse

 and (I) could be worse. a
response to a greeting meaning "My state is not as bad as it might be." (Not necessarily a direct answer.) John: How are you, Fred? Fred: Things could be worse. And you? John: Okay, I guess. Bob: Hi, Bob! What's happening? Bob: I could be worse. What's new with you?
See also: could, worse
References in periodicals archive ?
I don't think I'm being Pollyanna or overly optimistic, but things could be worse.
The routine suggests that things could be worse for the construction worker than facing the wrath of Sarah or Zora once the jig is up in Monday's ``Joe Millionaire'' finale.