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Re: "Not Too Bad" means good?

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on May 27, 2004

In Reply to: Re: "Not Too Bad" means good? posted by ESC on May 27, 2004

: : : Hi,
: : : I have a confusion with a phrase " Not too Bad" heavily used by my peer in the office. English is his second language as mine but he says that when he uses this it mean good. I have a different opinion I think this means he is nott that bad, but still BAD????

: : : Can anyone please let me know what exatly it means when one says " I am not too bad!"

: : : Thanks and Regards,
: : : Khan

: : to me, a native English speaker, it implies something marginally better than 'bad'; something that is 'reasonable', 'up to the job', but not much more than that - just about OK, or very slightly better.

: It depends on how it is said. "Not too bad!" with a tone of admiration could mean "very good."

If somebody told me my work was "not too bad", meaning "good" by their tone of admiration, I might take it as condescending, or that their expectations were not very high to begin with. I'd prefer "not too shabby", which I think is more genuine.