In a bad way

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am


'Happiness is good health and a bad memory'

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) - scientist and medical missionary

A bad hair day

There is more to the little word 'bad' than just being the opposite of 'good'. Read on to discover more.

What is ....?

1 a bad debt

a. borrowed money that is unlikely to be repaid

b. a poor investment

2 a thoroughly bad lot

a. a disappointing examination result

b. a person who is disliked by others because of their bad attitude and behaviour

3 a bad hair day

a. a missed appointment at the hairdresser's

b. a day when everything goes wrong

4 a bad mixer

a. a person who is not good at getting on well with others

b. a drink that tastes very bitter

5 bad blood

a. blood that takes a long time to clot when you cut yourself

b. a feeling of hatred between two people stemming from something that has happened in the past

From bad to worse

Here are a few 'bad' verb phrases. What to they mean?

1 to go from bad to worse

a. to become even more difficult or unpleasant

b. to be in trouble with the law

2 to be a bad timekeeper

a. to be unable to tell the time

b. to always be late for appointments

3 to have got it bad

a. to have no money

b. to be deeply in love with someone

4 to go through a bad patch

a. to do something dishonest

b. to experience a lot of problems in a certain period of your life

5 to give something up as a bad job

a. to leave something half-done

b. to stop doing something because you feel its not worth continuing

Bad language!

What would you say in the following situations?

1 You are really pleased that someone you dislike intensely has gone away.

a. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

b. Bad luck.

2 You tell your brother that Dad is really unhappy with something he has done.

a. You are in Dad's bad books.

b. Dad is a bad guy.

3 You tell someone that your friend has made a mess of a task.

a. He's got it bad.

b. He's done a bad job.

4 You tell someone that what has happened makes everyone feel a bit upset.

a. It's in bad repair.

b. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Bad words

Complete these sentences with the correct words.

1 It's great you have stopped going out with Rob. In my opinion, he is a (bad debt / thoroughly bad lot).

2 My brother is so shy. He is a very (bad mixer / bad guy) whenever he meets new people.

3 Tony has only been going out with Jenny for two weeks but already he's (gone from bad to worse / got it bad).

4 You were late for work again this morning. You will be in trouble if you go on being such a (bad timekeeper / thoroughly bad lot).

5 Your actions last week have (gone through a bad patch / left a bad taste in everyone's mouth).

6 My relationship with the new boss has (gone from bad to worse / got it bad) during the past month. I can't do anything to please him.


A bad hair day: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a, 5. b

From bad to worse: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b

Bad language: 1. a, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b

Bad words: 1. thoroughly bad lot, 2. bad mixer, 3. got it bad, 4. bad timekeeper, 5. left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, 6. gone from bad to worse