I watched a movie about a boy — and someone asks him:

— You don't like girls, do you Nathan? (Edit: with a smirk)
— I like them just fine.

I confused with 'just fine'. What does it mean exactly? Please give some examples that contain 'just fine' to make it clear.

5 Answers 5


It means the same thing as "I like girls." The connotation is slightly different and the reason for including "just fine" is to counter the accusation that Nathan does not like girls.

An example in a different area:

Would you like some tea?

Tea would be just fine. / I like tea just fine.

The expression is used as a basic or stoic acceptance or acknowledgement. Other words with similar usage is "okay" or "alright". Each carry their own typical uses and connotations but the gist is there. A wordier way to say it:

I like girls as much as the next guy.

Notes: I was interrupted while answering so there are more than the typical amount of edits. I apologize for any confusion.

  • I think your example has different meaning than Nathan's situation. May 11, 2011 at 19:38
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    @dino: Yeah, sorry, I wasn't able to complete that thought. I added some more content in an attempt to bring the thought back home.
    – MrHen
    May 11, 2011 at 19:47
  • @MrHen... really thank you. i think my last question about your answer will be what is the next guy in your example. Is it the same with I like girls as much as you.? May 11, 2011 at 20:03
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    "as much as the next guy" is an idiom that means "as much as anyone else does". As in, "I like girls as much as most guys like girls." So there is not a literal "next guy"; it is just a figure of speech.
    – MrHen
    May 11, 2011 at 20:05

I believe in this context it means "sufficiently", with the definition of sufficiency actually being defined by the person who asked the original question. In other words, the respondent is stating that he meets the questioner's expectation of liking girls.

Sadly, I can't think of another example at present. Sorry.

EDIT: Based on the conversation below, I revise my answer somewhat -- either conversant's views may be in use. However, the core point is still the same: it means "sufficiently".


"We've run out of beer! I'll just pop down the shop and get some"

"Don't bother, wine will be just fine" (implication: good enough for me)


You don't really like me, do you?

Rubbish! I like you just fine (implication: enough that you should be satisfied)

  • 4
    @Luke: I'm afraid I think exactly the opposite. To me, using just fine in this way definitely suggests the speaker is perfectly happy with the extent to which he 'likes girls'. But it often carries the subtext that the speaker doesn't much care about meeting the questioner's expectations. That's to say, there's an implication of Everything's just fine so far as I'm concerned. So stop rattling my cage. May 11, 2011 at 23:11
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    Hmm. The point you make is valid. Probably the owner of the viewpoint being referenced is, at best, inconsistent. May 12, 2011 at 20:35
  • @Luke: Even though my previous comment disagreed with your Answer, I'm going to upvote it. When I look carefully at the others, it seems to me they don't take account of the word 'just'. Your word 'sufficiently' specifically does. Anyway, on reflection I think we're both right, in that 'sufficiently' could be in respect of the speaker's or the asker's requirements, dependent on context. I suspect you're coming round to that view too. May 12, 2011 at 20:51
  • @FumbleFingers: Yes, after considering your comment, I agree that my universal statement is incorrect. Certainly I generally use the term to refer to the views of the person I am talking to, but I think both interpretations here are sometimes accurate. May 12, 2011 at 20:53
  • Now, someone help the OP out by coming up with an example. I'm still suck (and none of the other examples I've read seem correct). May 12, 2011 at 20:56

Examples seem to be in high demand...

SUE: Would you like some mustard?

JOHN: Mustard would be just fine.

What the speaker is saying is that he does, in fact, like girls. Just as John (in my made-up example) likes mustard.

However, with a certain emphasis, the speaker could be implying that he likes girls, but isn't attracted to them.

  • you last sentence made me confused a bit: the speaker could be implying that he likes girls, but isn't attracted to them. You mean, the speaker doesn't contradict Nathan not like girls, but how he would be think he isn't attracted to them? May 11, 2011 at 19:45
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    I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking. But, I'm willing to help the best I can. May 11, 2011 at 19:47
  • I meant, how Nathan could be like girls and isn't attracted to them as well according to the speaker (i am talking about your last sentence)? I didn't get the picture. May 11, 2011 at 19:52
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    In my last sentence I'm saying that he could like girls, just like I like mustard. But isn't attracted to girls, just like I'm not attracted to mustard. May 11, 2011 at 19:55

Nathan is saying, 'You are in no position to question, and I'm not going to deign myself to answer to YOU the degree that I like OR don't like girls'

  • What is it that “to deign oneself” is supposed to mean?
    – tchrist
    Apr 16, 2013 at 16:14

I believe important connotations and euphemisms are being missed in the previous answers, both in regards to the challenger as well as Nathan.

Clearly the with a smirk description is meant to infer that the question is challenging Nathan's sexual interest in girls, with the connotation that Nathan is gay and thus somehow less manly in consequence.

The response not made by Nathan, a simple "I like them.", would be difficult to say with enough emphasis to refute the implied accusation of emasculation. Consequently Nathan expands his answer slightly, with length and tempo, to properly refute both accusations firmly:

I like girls just fine.

which I can easily imagine a teenaged boy actually pronouncing more like:

I like girls ... JUST ... FINE.

Of course the answer is deliberately ambiguous - Has Nathan actually (with intent) refuted the accusation of being gay? Or simply the accusation of being less masculine as a consequence of being gay. The reader is left to decide in light of future events.

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