I am trying to assign a human readable tag that describes how good an object is. For example grading a student's paper:

string quality = grade_paper(string paper);

The quality has to be an alphabetical string (specifically not a number).

Before I can proceed, I need a list of qualities I can report. Here's what I have so far:

very poor, poor, fair, good, excellent, outstanding, perfect

This list seems unbalanced because perfect implies the complete absence of flaws.

Is there a single word that is the opposite of perfect? Perfectly bad just seems like a kludge.

  • As a developer, I feel your pain. In a similar case, we used fubar. Not sure if it applies to your context, if it's acceptable in the code base nor if it's even relevant as your question was posted 7+ years ago. (And yes, it's an acronym, so technically, one should spell it capitalized but we had the casing style guide enforcing it.) Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


You could say Unacceptable or Completely Unacceptable.

BTW, many people might consider excellent and outstanding synonyms.


Atrocious would seem to fit your needs

Of a very poor quality; extremely bad or unpleasant


Or perhaps use what (at least) the UK School system uses, Ungradable, or grade U. It literally means no content worth grading.

  • I believe it's “Ungraded”, and it can mean at least two things, but I suppose the adjective should follow.
    – user3395
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 13:59

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