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Thread: only fairly

  1. #1
    lukre is offline Member
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    only fairly

    If you ask somebody how they are, and they answer -only fairly- what does it mean? I saw it in an old book, it might be archaic.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: only fairly

    It would sound odd to me.

    I think a modern answer for that would be "so-so" or "Just okay."

    [not a teacher]

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    lukre is offline Member
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    Re: only fairly

    Thanx anyway!
    I think it was British English.

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: only fairly

    Quote Originally Posted by lukre View Post
    Thanx anyway!
    I think it was British English.
    Not guilty - we might, though, say 'Only fair'. The more common collocation is 'Fair to middling'.

    It's possible (though I haven't met it) that this follows the analogy - in some Northern dialects - of 'poorly' as an adjective meaning "ill": here's an example - with apologies to northern speakers; this isn't my native dialect

    "'ow's tha mam?" [How's your mother?]
    "Reet poorly." [Very ill.]

    b

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