F minus

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

F minus (plural F minuses)

  1. A hypothetical grade lower than an "F"; a grade representing not merely a failure, but a complete and utter failure.
    • Andrew Gumbel, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America (2005) p. 264:
      A conservative watchdog group concerned about the integrity of the electoral process, the Free Congress Foundation, later did an audit of new voting systems around the country and deemed Georgia's to be the worst, giving it an F-minus grade.
    • Lawrence Sutin, Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick (2005) p. 46:
      ...he tried to cheer her up by painting a portrait of himself as the ultimate fuck-up: "It was super hard for me in high school. I got an F minus on a geometry test.
    • Matt Haig, Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time (2003) p. 211:
      What you've got now is a company that went from an A- plus to an F-minus. And now it's going back to a B.
    • Dean M. Sagar, Franchising in the U.S. Economy: Prospects and Problems (1990) p. 27:
      Is that an A plus for New York, or is that an F minus?
    • National Capital Area--drug Trafficking: Joint Oversight Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs and Health (1988) p. 69.
      It seems to me that this administration ought to be given an F, if we are talking about grades here, on its war on drugs, an F, in fact, an F minus.

Usage notes[edit]

The grade of "F minus" is generally not part of any actual academic grading regime, but the phrase is instead used as a rhetorical flourish in assessing someone or something as being a particularly spectacular failure.