My mother as good as

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "My mother as good as " means in the following sentences:

'You took everything from me that night. My mother as good as died that night too. We lost my father to a heart attack a few years later, certainly due to the stress of his grief.’

- Lucy Foley, The Guest List, Chapter 62

This is a thriller novel published in 2020 in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifty guests gathered at some remote and deserted fictional islet called Inis an Amplóra off the coast of the island of Ireland to celebrate the wedding between Jules (a self-made woman running an online magazine called The Download) and Will (a celebrity appearing in a TV show program called Survive the Night).

In this part, I am wondering what "as good as" would mean.
There is nothing that follows "as good as", so I am confused...

Actually, this is the second time that "as good as" appears in this novel, and the second instance is like the following (I hid the names because I thought it could be a spoiler for future readers) :

A little nausea is nothing compared to the deep sickness of the soul I felt when I made my discovery last night, that it was
who as good as killed
my sister

So, because this expression is repeated twice, I guess it would not be a typo... But then I have no idea of its meaning.

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would say it differently. It doesn't mean "almost" it means "equivalent to". She didn't "almost die", rather what happened to her affected her in a way equivalent to dying. Psychologically, it was as if she died. She was not the same person after that, even though she was physically still alive.

    It's the same in your spoiler example. The effect was similar to killing that person. It affected that person profoundly and took away the joy of life for them - i.e. it was like death.

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear heypresto, Packard and kentix,

    Thank you so much for the explanations.
    Wow, I didn't know that "as good as" could be used as "equivalent to," "nearly", "almost"! I learned a new thing all thanks to you.
    I was only thinking that a noun such as "an angel" should follow it, like "My mother as good as an angel," but that was not necessary. :D
    So it would mean that "My mother virtually, practically died," which means that it was almost, nearly as if the speaker's mother had died that night, because she experienced a psychological death. The speaker's mother was still alive, but she was not the same, so it was like she was dead inside.
    Now I think I got the idea all thanks to you! I truly appreciate your help, as always. :)

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear AutumnOwl,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    Yes indeed, a verb is required there!
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)