Is there a generally accepted antonym for Well done! ?

I mean something like :

"That was lame"


Context: A feedback app in which a bad performance by a user has to be responded with a mild rebuke. So hard luck is not an option. I would like to say something like Bad job.

It doesn't have to be a single word, as Well done is neither. I am looking for a disapproving tone or something that expresses dissatisfaction. It should contrast Well done to the extent that it makes clear to the user that he screwed it up

  • 1
    Please "go back to the drawing board" on your question. In a comment on the answer Booooo!, you say "It is to be used in a feedback application." What level of formality or informality do you want? – ab2 MonicaNotForgotten Feb 24 '16 at 17:54
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    Context - including intended audience and occasion - is needed! Answes coukd range from "sucks ass" or "FUBAR" to "infelicitous". – Rob_Ster Feb 25 '16 at 3:12
  • You REALLY need to add your comment to Dan's answer in your question, it explains "why" you haven't, as yet, accepted and answer. It's called context! "I am not a downvoter, but your answer is not correct in this context (which I have added now to the question). I find Boooooo a bit too informal (it is not a video game, rather a serious app aimed at business users.) – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '16 at 11:52
  • You've got four votes asking to close this question... I could add mine to the list. Please state clearly whether you want a single-word, a phrase, an encouraging incitement, a disapproving tone, a formal or informal expression. Add an example sentence, or briefly explain what the app does. – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '16 at 12:04
  • @Mari-Lou More details added to the question – senseiwu Feb 25 '16 at 12:38

"Well done" is an idiom, and there are lots of synonyms: "Bravo", "Good show", "Great work", "Nice one" and so on.

For reasons of politeness, there are fewer short phrases that mean the opposite. Praise is given readily. Criticism needs more explanatory surrounding words, or euphemism.

So (at least in Britain), instead of saying "Badly done", someone would typically instead explain what's wrong with the work: "I think you could have improved it by ..."

Still, there are a few options:

  • Poor show
  • Bad show
  • Could do better
  • Not good
  • Badly done

Of course, if you're comfortable with being actively rude, you can drift into stronger words:

  • awful!
  • terrible!

Or even swearing (my example is mild):

  • crap!

You can say 'Badly done', which is the exact opposite.


Fail! or Epic Fail!

That is pretty much a globally well-known phrase to suggest failure.

  • These are both an internet/gaming community meme, inspired by clumsy English translations in Japanese games. I don't think they should be recommended as standard English. Native English speakers from outside those communities will not recognise the meme. – slim Feb 25 '16 at 12:08
  • (The joke is that it should be "Failure!" or "Epic failure!", but in games translated in Japan, grammar was the first casualty - see also "All your base are belong to us".) – slim Feb 25 '16 at 12:11
  • Adding failed to the list and its definition will satisfy the nitpickers. – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '16 at 12:47

You can say:

  • Badly done
  • Poorly done
  • (if you are Shakespeare) ill done

or use a Thesaurus to find any one of very many synonyms for 'badly'

  • but have you ever heard anyone say these phrases? – Dan Feb 24 '16 at 23:25
  • Yes. (Although the last one only in a play). – DJClayworth Feb 24 '16 at 23:31

I'm partial to an oldie: Bad show.

  • Is this "generally accepted"? I have the misfortune of never having visited England, but from media it seems to be far less common than "good show" or more modern phrases. – Matthew Read Feb 24 '16 at 22:41
  • I've heard 'bad show' only for something bad that has happened, not for a job poorly executed. Old chap. – DJClayworth Feb 24 '16 at 23:32

One thing you can say is 'Poorly done'.

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