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“Bad bits” — Meaning, Context & Examples

“Bad bits” — Meaning, Context & Examples

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Many things in life are not all bad or all good.

Most things are kind of mixed. They aren’t all good and they aren’t all bad.

As a result, it’s helpful to have a way to talk about that, and we’ll help you do that in this post!

What is the meaning of “bad bits”?

“Bad bits” refers to the bad parts of a thing. Because it is only talking about parts, you can infer from it that there are parts of the thing that are good as well.

What is the background of “bad bits”?

One meaning of the word “bit” on its own is “a part of something,” but the word can be a little confusing.

The reason is that one difference in “bit” and “part” is that “bit” generally suggests that something is small.

For example, if you are eating a piece of cake and your friend says, “Can I have a bit of that?” they probably don’t mean that they want half of it.

This is more the case in American English than British English, and in British English people are probably more likely to use “bits” than “parts” whatever the size of something.

It’s common to see “bit” paired with “a little.” When it is, it means just a small amount:

I’m a little bit cold.


It hurts a little bit.


However, what can be confusing about “bit” is that it can also mean “a lot” when it is preceded by the words “quite a”:

If someone says, “I missed her quite a bit,” they mean “I missed her a lot.”

If they say, “There was quite a bit of food at that party,” they mean there was a lot of food at the party.

So, when someone says “the bad bits,” do they mean that there is a lot or a little that is bad?

To some extent, you can tell from context. We’ll look more closely at this in the example below.

But first, let’s look at a similar expression, “the good and bad bits.”

What does “the good and bad bits” mean?

You might sometimes see the phrase “the good and bad bits” and wonder what it means.

First, in this phrase, the word “bit” in the first part is understood (= inferred). In other words, it means “the good bits and the bad bits” even though “bit” is only used once.

You can use this structure any time you are using two opposing adjectives to describe the same noun:

The sink had hot and cold water taps.
She told me about her big and small problems.

When you see “the good and bad bits,” it refers to the good parts and the bad parts of something.

Using “the bad bits” in a sentence

Let’s look at a few ways you can use “the bad bits” in a sentence.

In the sentence below, the person is asking about the bad parts in someone’s proposal:

What were the bad bits of her proposal?

Here are a few other examples:

For once, I’d like to spend time with Andy without all the bad bits getting in the way.

In the sentence above, there are unpleasant things about spending time with Andy. Maybe he has a bad temper, or perhaps he tends to talk at length about boring topics.

“All” before “the bad bits” suggests that there’s a lot rather than just a little that is bad.

In the sentence below, there probably aren’t many parts that are bad:

The bad bits of the movie didn’t really spoil it for me.

And in the next sentence, it’s not entirely clear how much “bits” refers to since it’s all the speaker can remember:

When I think about living in that town, I can only remember the bad bits.

In all of the above examples, the things that are bad are abstract ideas, but “bad bits” can be used with concrete things as well:

He cut the bad bits off the apple before eating it.


Most of the paintings in the art show were good, but there were some bad bits.

You could specifically name the bad bits as well. For example, in the sentence below, one of the bad bits is that the line for the tickets was first come, first served, and another is that the weather was not good:

The bad bits were that we had to wait in line for hours and it was raining, but at least we got the tickets.


Using “good and bad bits” in a sentence

Now, let’s take a look at “good and bad bits” in a sentence. When this phrase is used, there are two things in contrast to each other:

There were some good and bad bits in the comedy routine.

What the speaker means in the sentence above is that they liked some parts of the comedy routine and disliked other parts.

Here’s another example:

I want to know everything, all the good and bad bits.


In the above sentence, it isn’t really clear what proportion of the “bits” are good and which are bad.

“Bad bits” can be relative. In the sentence below, although there were “bad bits” or bad parts, the speaker thinks there was something worthwhile about everything in the story:

Both the good and bad bits of her story showed promise.