Are you middling?


Perhaps. If you be asked “how are you?” one response could be “middling, thank you”.

Middling here means “regular”, or you could say “fair to middling”. This means the same. Middling is derived from “middle”.

Middling also refers to medium or lower quality or size. Some examples:

  • Mr. Podemos is of middling height. This means average height, neither tall nor short.
  • Mr, Casado is a middling politician (= he is neither exceptional nor mediocre, perhaps average, no more).
  • La Orotava is a town of middling size.
  • Ricardo´s piano recital in London only received middling reviews (reseñas).

There is also the word “middlings”, with an unrelated meaning. Middlings are a by-product (producto derivado) from wheat, which is used for animal feed (pienso).

So, when you meet Mr. Podemos he might say “I am middling”.  You will realize that he is of middling height, and perhaps judge that he is a “middling politician”.


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