Is there a word or idiom that would explain a situation where one has ended up doing the bare required minimum out of the maximum that could have been done.

Think of it as a person realizing the minimum (but still acceptable amount) of their potential.

For example "goldilocks" is a word explaining "the exact right amount", is there something similar for the above?

  • 2
    Doing the bare minimum means “doing the bare minimum out of the maximum that could have been done”. – Lordology Feb 26 at 17:59
  • It's called "doing the bare minimum". "Bare minimum" is fairly idiomatic in this sense. – Hot Licks Mar 28 at 22:04

A Jobsworth, is somebody who apparently takes great pleasure in not only doing themselves only what is specifically required, but in most cases only allowing others to also.

The 'Computer says no' sketches work on the frustration felt by people having to deal with people who lack any and all initiative or ability to work beyond the scope explicit instructions.

Other types of people, or at least descriptions of them, are covered in English:SE 'Please give me derogatory terms to apply to my co-workers'


Minimum (synonym "least")

As a phrase/idiom, you could use "get by" and/or "skin of one's teeth" meaning "barely" as a single word.

You did just enough to get by. he got paid by the skin of his teeth. That's barely passable in my mind.




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