Anything Obscure & Eclectic


n.  — an intermediate thing; a mean

adj. — of medium or moderate size
— a mean, middle ground
— mediocre, second-rate
— in reasonable but not the best of health
— of persons in the moderate or middle class
— occupying a middle position; not the best nor worst

adv. — moderately, fairly
— fairly well, moderately successful, okay (as in “pretty middling”)

…among other meanings

fm. the countless origins of the word middle: Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Icelandic, Old Swedish, among others.

first published. before written history

inspiration. a recent NPR story by Shankar Vedantam, in which researcher Chris Herbst daringly, though quite logically coins a new use of the word middling, as a verb: to pursue the middle.

CHRIS HERBST: We found pretty consistent evidence that child care center directors were middling it with regard to teacher credentials. They tended to stay away from the least-qualified resumes in our pool. They also tended to stay away from the most-qualified resumes in our pool and, instead, went for the sort of middle-of-the-road qualifications.

STEVE INSKEEP: Middling it, I’ve never heard that phrase before.

This entry was published on 3 July 2017 at 9:00 am. It’s filed under M and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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