fair to middling

Idioms & Phrases

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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