hit and miss 6

hit and miss: meaning and explanation

If something is hit and miss or hit-and-miss, then it is inconsistent or unreliable in terms of its quality, reliability etc.

If an author is a bit hit and miss, then some of their books are good, some of them are bad.

If trains from London to Oxford are a bit hit and miss, sometimes they are on time, sometimes they are late or cancelled.

If a technique is hit and miss, then sometimes it is effective and sometimes it doesn’t work.

‘Hit and miss’ is an example of a binomial expression, which are fixed phrases consisting of two words connected by ‘and’. Common examples are black and white, give and take, pros and cons. The word order of binomials is usually fixed – you can’t say ‘miss and hit’ or ‘white and black’. Many binomials are idiomatic, and the meaning is not easy to guess directly (e.g. ‘bits and bobs’).

Dictation #1

Accent: England (RP)

The excellent , service a bit .
The food always excellent , but the service to be a bit and miss.

…the service tends to be a bit hit and miss…

to tend to do sth is a useful verb to use when you want to describe what is normally true about something, e.g. Films in the UK tend to start about 30 minutes later than you expect them to, because of all the adverts.

Discussion question

Write your answer to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Give me an example of something which is a bit hit and miss (e.g. a place you eat, a TV series, an author). In what way is it hit and miss?

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Jose
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Jose

The author Noah Gordon write to bit and miss, he write marvelous triologic of The Doctor, I loved it but others books are no not good than The Doctor. Is same with the TV series CSI Ioved the Vegas CSI it was interesting but is not same with CSI New York it was not good than La Vegas

Marisela
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Marisela

I think that in most of the countries public transport is somewhat hit and miss. At least in my country, I quite often have to leave home to get to work around two hours earlier because transport tends to be a bit hit and miss.

I’d never seen this phrase before, it was quite funny and useful for me. Thank you !!!!

AlineS
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AlineS

As said above, public transport tends to be a hit and miss and it’s not different in my country. But I was wondering if the example about trains in London is true. I know this is a stereotype, but I thought that in England everything would be on time

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