Posted by ESC on August 15, 2002
In Reply to: It's "Middling" posted by R. Berg on August 15, 2002
: : Anyone know the origin of the phrase "Fair To Midland"? example: when one asks "How are you doing? - I'm Fair To Midland"
: : (if you know and can e-mail it to me - that would be great! - email@example.com)
: When people speak without mumbling, they pronounce that expression "Fair to middlin'. "Middlin'"--or "middling" -- means average or medium; in the middle range.
A couple of items from the archives:
This from a July 2000 discussion: The word "middling" meaning of average size, mediocre size or quality, etc., dates from about 1550.
FAIR TO MIDDLIN' -- "fair to middlin', adj. Just so-so. Not so hot." "Southern Stuff: Down-home Talk and Bodacious Lore from Deep in the Heart of Dixie" by Mildred Jordan Brooks (Avon Books, New York, 1992).