Up To Par: The Meaning and Origin of this Idiom

The idiomatic phrase “up to par” may be a phrase that you come across in some informal forms of conversation and writing. If you have crossed paths with this phrase and were wondering about it, then wonder no more. This article is your one-stop location for everything you need to know. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase, as well as the story of its origin. You will also find some example sentences and conversations to help you understand how the phrase is used correctly. Lastly, there will be some suggestions for you to consider as alternatives to using the phrase but still relate the same meaning.

Up To Par

Up To Par Meaning

The idiom “up to par” means that something or someone is being compared to some sort of predetermined standard in a given situation.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

This phrase was first used sometime in the 1800s. However, it was not until the 1900s, when the sport of golf became more popular, that the use of the phrase grew in popularity also. Although there is no official proof, the phrase most likely came from the sport of golf.

When a golfer is on the green and making a shot, every hole has a standard amount of shots assigned to it that dictate the number of shots it should take on average to put the ball in the hole. If a golfer uses this exact number of shots to get his/her ball in the hole they are said to be par. If it takes them fewer shots, they are under par. If it takes them more, they are said to be over par. Therefore, the phrase “up to par” means up to the expectation or the standard.

“Up To Par” Examples

Example Sentences

  • Franny wasn’t feeling up to par this morning, so she decided to stay home from school.
  • Frank decided to sell the puppies from his dog’s most recent litter for a cheaper price because they were not up to par with the breed standards.
  • I didn’t think her performance was up to par.
  • It’s a constant struggle to try to keep them up to par.
  • They are not up to par. They are inferior compared to the original sample.

Example Conversations

A conversation between two co-workers in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: I don’t think Cheryl deserves the same raise that we all received.
  • Co-worker 2: Oh I completely agree. Her work is not up to par with the rest of us. However, the manager doesn’t see it and she kisses his ass.
  • Co-worker 1: You got that right!

A conversation between a student and a teacher.

  • Teacher: Tabitha, I have noticed you have been struggling lately. Is everything alright?
  • Student: Sorry Ms. Cline. I know my work hasn’t been up to par lately. I just have a lot on my mind. I will do better.
  • Teacher: Okay, but just remember that I am here for you if you ever need to talk about anything.

Alternatives to “Up To Par”

There are many ways to say “up to par” using different words and phrases to relay the same meaning. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Good enough
  • Meeting the standard
  • Acceptable
  • OK
  • Fine

Up To Par Meaning | Picture

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