middlin' » midland

Chiefly in:   fair to midland

Classification: English – final d/t-deletion

Spotted in the wild:

  • Adrien Brody is fair-to-midland, calling up the best Steinbeckian dimwit that the constricting storyline will allow. (FilmForce review, July 30, 2004)
  • I tried Ofoto once, and it was FAIR, but I must confess I mailed them the film, so I could only expect fair to midland prints from that roll anyway. (Frugal Living forum, Dec. 7, 2004)
  • The Governor got an A from the Sierra Club, no big surprise that a Democratic Governor gets an A. Gave her a C this year. That’s not just fair to midland, that’s pretty poor. (KAET Horizon transcript, May 27, 2005)

Analyzed or reported by:

Quinion calls _fair to Midland_ “a Texas variation on the phrase [_fair to middlin’_], a joke on the name of the city called Midland in that state.” Though it’s often used humorously (as in the name of a Texan band and a Dwight Yoakam song), there are many attestations of serious (usually uncapitalized) usage with no apparent allusion to the city of Midland.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/07/18 |

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