on the [ADJ] side

1 The phrase on the [ADJ] side is just another way of saying kind of [ADJ] — especially in the spoken language. It's common to all varieties of English, not just American. Like kind of, it tends to sound a bit cautious; we use it when we don't want to sound too categorical or critical of someone of something; when we want to be honest, but not too direct.

Angie's trying out a new soup recipe on her husband.


Angie: How's the soup? I got the recipe from my sister.

Thomas: It's, uh... really good!

Angie: You don't sound too convinced.

Thomas: No, I like it. It's just a little on the salty side.

Angie: I think you're right. I used twice as much bacon as the recipe called for and I should've adjusted it for salt.

Note that this phrase is often preceded by adverbs like a little, a bit, somewhat... again, in the spirit of not sounding too categorical and critical.

Gary's on a flight to London and notices the man sitting next to him is reading Interview with The Vampire, which he's never gotten around to reading.


Gary: Hey, how are you liking that book? I've been meaning to read it forever. My sister swears by it.

Don: Yeah, it's longish and a little on the corny side. Lots of emotional rants and drawn-out descriptions of what the characters are feeling, etc. But on the whole, it's a pretty entertaining story.

Gary: Ugh, thanks for the warning! I think I'll just watch the movie.

________________⦿ How are you liking that book? | The progressive form liking is used in the sense of like so far when someone is still in the process of trying or doing something. For instance, in this example, Gary sees that his fellow passenger is still in the beginning of the novel and is wondering how he likes it so far.⦿ to have been meaning to [VERB] | to have had the intention of doing something for some time, but not to have gotten around to it yet⦿ forever | a common way of saying a really long time⦿ to swear by something | to believe that something is excellent and highly recommend it⦿ corny | here: overly emotional or romantic⦿ (to) rant | This can be a noun or a verb, both referring to talking at length about something very passionately or emotionally. ⦿ drawn-out | said of a discourse, speech, explanation, story, anything written or spoken that seems to go on longer than necessary — especially when the same point could've been made with less words