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It's like you just don't have money, but suddenly you realised you did put a note somewhere deep in your bag and you grab that out and just feel the mixture of being lucky and relief and pessimistic about how it could be if you hadn't put that note in. What phrase can be used to desribe this feeling?

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  • The 'Luckily, it could have been worse' in your question title is close, but actually I doubt anyone would actually say that. Common in such contexts is, for example, 'At least it wasn't any worse'. Jun 4 '14 at 12:30
  • There are at least two dozen different things you might say in such a situation. I would probably just say, “Phew”, “Thank god”, “Oh, that was lucky”, “Could have been worse, then”, or any combination of those. Jun 4 '14 at 12:49
  • I would not use the sentence in your title though. The expressed relieve that somehow there was a worse possibility does not seem appropriate. I do not normally feel the tendency to express that luckily, I could have died in an accident today - even if that is true, and even if I am relieved that my bad day was not that bad.
    – oerkelens
    Jun 4 '14 at 15:18
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Consider:

Thank God (it wasn't any worse)!

Thank God: (spoken) be pleased or happy: Thank God no one was in the way or on the sidewalk when the bus went out of control

Or

Thankfully (it wasn't any worse)!

thankfully: (Informal) fortunately: Thankfully she wasn't injured

Or

Phew(, it could have been worse)!

Phew: used to express relief

Or

Am I ever lucky!

Or

Lucky me! (can also be meant sarcastically depending on context)

Or

Lucky me -- and lucky you, too! (Here's the money)

Or

All's well that ends well!

Or

Thankfully, it looked worse than it actually is!

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"Phew!" But that's not a phrase..

"Thank God!" is common.. and should pass for an acceptable applicable expression, anywhere..

"Hurrah!" or "Luckily!" are also obviously relevant.

"I knew it!" would refer back to why or what (or both) you had been been fumbling in the bag for in the first place..

Me I'd say "Yes!!!" in such a situation, on any normal earth day, at any instant of caesium decay

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  • but you have in fact added the condition of "worse" in probability.. In relief, the Human mind normally ignores the flip side. But it's less than naive.. It will come around but at the moment the phrase is in fact uttered, only words or phrases with positive connotations are "commonly" used. In contrast: Jun 4 '14 at 14:51
  • but you have in fact added the condition of "worse" in probability.. In relief, the Human mind normally ignores the flip side. But it's less than naive.. It will come around but at the moment the phrase is in fact uttered, only words or phrases with positive connotations are "commonly" used. A remarkably awesome subconscious measure.. In contrast: 1. "Ahh luckily!" is the only phrase I can think of, because it states this probability of luck going "either way" which could mean "better" or "worse".. (hope I can add another comment) Jun 4 '14 at 14:59
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Thank heaven/god for small mercies

Be thankful/grateful for small mercies

Used to acknowledge the avoidance of the worst case of a bad outcome.

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  • 2. In my Mother tongue ("Tamil", the root of "language" itself) -my native is English though, but please don't ask me how- this situation is addressed in (translated) "good time" -which could address the situation going either way. "Good time" got adapted in English (as the same) centuries ago but there sure must be a better translation. Jun 4 '14 at 15:00

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