phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Fair to middling

Posted by ESC on October 17, 2000

In Reply to: Fair to middling posted by Rose on October 17, 2000

: I am trying to find out what this phrase means and where it originated from.

It means everything is just "so so." Not bad, but not really great. "How are you feeling?" "Fair to middlin'." Meaning the person doesn't have any serious ailments but he doesn't feel like a boy.

This from a July 2000 discussion: The word "middling" meaning of average size, mediocre size or quality, etc., dates from about 1550.