Ain't half bad vs. ain't half good

I’m confused. When I left the UK 30 years ago, if we said something “ain’t half good,” it meant it was really good. “Ain’t half bad” would have meant that it was awful. (Similarly, the title of the TV show It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum meant it was really hot.)
However, I quickly learned that Americans said “ain’t half bad” meaning pretty good. In recent posts on this forum, I’ve noticed Brits using the phrase in what I took to be the American way. Has the meaning changed? Have the British adopted American usage?
I’m not necessarily saying one is better than the other, but I am curious.

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I’m familiar with the turn of phrase but up in the North of England “ain’t” isn’t used as much as say London and the South but I’m more likely to hear “…bad”.

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Not familiar with the phrase “ain’t half good”.

Whereas, I’ve always taken “ain’t half bad” to mean very good indeed, maybe with a hint of “better than expected”.

Still far short of “pure dead brilliant”, ken. :scotland:

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Better keep an eye on what side of the street you are driving too… you never know!

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Same here. Is it “a northern thing” ? (I’m technically a Manc.)

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I would say ain’t half bad and ain’t half good mean more or less the same thing in England- something that is good- well half good I suppose….

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For me, “ain’t bad” would mean good. The additional “half” changes everything. Maybe I’m thinking of something like this: Q. So was it any good? A. Not half!

It makes me wonder what else has changed. Would I even understand my former compatriots if I moved back?

We have a rather stupid response here that always confuses me, yeah no. Does it mean yes or no.

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But, in some circles, bad means good.

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Try a search for “Vicky Pollard” if you think that confusing. :smile:

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She has spent a lot of time out here, don’t know if she’s influenced the locals or vis-à-vis. Either way it annoying.

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I could care less about this discussion. :wink:

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You mean “yeah, nah”

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That too. :grin:

Ah yes, the great “could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less” debate. Which isn’t really a debate. “Could care less” makes no sense. :grinning:

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“Ain’t cha”. A well known multi disciplinary have you or haven’t you phrase from “Eastenders’

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