I am creating a survey about setting habits where the response is a selection from 0 - 5.

I labeled 5 as "Nailed it". I am looking for the opposite to label my 0. 0 basically means that the option was not done or practiced. I am looking for one or two words to mean "didn't do" or "Bombed it".

For example

Goal: Waking up before 7am every day this week -

0 -> would mean I didn't wake up before 7 any day of the week.

5 -> Would mean I woke up before 7 daily. (Nailed it!)

Here is the clarification some have asked:

I am creating a survey that people can use to evaluate themselves. One of the goals is to enable the person to correctly score how they performed. Nailed it captures the fact that the person performed completely as he/she wanted. The opposite could mean the person forgot or didn't bother to try or just didn't apply for that week (N/A).

This is for rating yourself on behavior after the fact. This is to evaluate if you performed to your expectation. You set the boundaries so 0-5 are a range and the person gets to decide what the ranges mean to him. But 5 is a total success and 0 the opposite.

  • Total Fail
    – Jim
    Oct 5, 2017 at 20:53
  • 1
    How about "blew it"?
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 5, 2017 at 21:10
  • 2
    Or "failed it", to rhyme with "nailed it", which is a colloquial expression for comprehensively not having failed something, but getting it completely right.
    – Livrecache
    Oct 5, 2017 at 23:45
  • 1
    I suspect trying to answer this question is somewhat futile. Nailed it certainly has its fair share of antonyms, but I doubt that it is the right phrase to fit the context of successfully performing a regular habit. In most contexts, it seems to be more about overcoming the odds, or artful precision than anything else. You can nail a test, a tricky shot or an explanation of an uncertain concept, and maybe even getting out of bed, at the exact moment you need to do so on a special occasion. However, can you exemplify real prior use with habits for us to help us understand why you chose it?
    – Tonepoet
    Oct 6, 2017 at 2:26
  • 1
    Yes, I think it's very important to get some clarification. The usage of "nailed it" led me to believe these were tasks people purposely attempted to do beforehand, as opposed to daily habits. If this is just a survey of daily habits, then "nailed it" would not really be appropriate.
    – KumaAra
    Oct 6, 2017 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


So we're looking for one or two words that mean you didn't succeed.

I think the previous suggestions are all really good:

bombed, blew it, total fail, epic fail, failed, failed it

Based on your usage of "nailed it" I assumed these were tasks that people purposefully attempted to achieve. And by getting a 0 it would mean they completely failed at a task they had set out to do. With that mindset, I searched through various websites and looked for idioms and synonyms for "fail." The terms I came up with were:

Washout: one that fails to measure up, an unsuccessful enterprise or undertaking

Strike out: Fail in an endeavor

Tank: to fail completely

(Total) Flop: fail utterly; collapse

Fall Flat: If an event or an attempt to do something falls flat, it is completely unsuccessful.

Hit rock bottom: If something hits rock bottom... it reaches an extremely low level where it cannot go any lower.

Bungle: mishandle, botch

Miss the boat: Fail to take advantage of an opportunity.

My personal preference is for the pair of "nailed it" and "failed it" due to the rhyme. But bombed, totally failed, failed, and washout all sound good to me. But have you also considered that using a casual term like this next to the 0 option might make the survey takers feel bad about themselves? I think that is an important issue to consider when choosing an appropriate term.

  • A long list of answers is not very helpful. I may find two or three answers hit the nail on the head while others clearly miss the mark. For example, if I scored only a 2 why is that not a "failed"? Could you wittle them down, or explain which one fit best in your opinion. Adding one or more dictionary links would also strengthen this answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 6, 2017 at 5:42
  • I'm not sure I understand your first four sentences. What do you mean if you "scored only a 2"? Keni is looking for short words or phrases that are the opposite of "Nailed it" to represent scoring a 0 on a 0 to 5 scale. I'm not sure what you'd like me to write down. But yes, I can add in dictionary links for each individual suggestion and include my own recommendation. Although I'm not sure if my personal opinion truly should matter in this instance.
    – KumaAra
    Oct 6, 2017 at 6:40
  • I meant that if 0 is "failed" then what would be a 2? Wouldn't that too be a "fail"? +1 for a much improved and supported answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 6, 2017 at 8:02

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