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Thread: mean=stingy?

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    Default mean=stingy?

    He is very mean.----------

    Could it have a connotation that the guy is sort of stingy, not willing to spend money in certain contexts?
    Last edited by jiamajia; 05-Aug-2010 at 16:51.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    He is very mean.----------

    Could it have a connotation that the guy is sort of stingy, not willing to spend money in cetain contexts?
    Absolutely. This is one of the most common definitions of the word. If you simply said to me "He is mean", I would understand one of two things:

    He is very stingy, doesn't like spending money.

    He is nasty, he behaves in a horrible way to other people.

    I would have to ask for clarification as to which one you meant, if it wasn't clear from the context.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    In America, "mean" doesn't usually mean stinginess.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    In America, "mean" doesn't usually mean stinginess.
    Um, another example of the difference between AmE and BrE.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    Um, another example of the difference between AmE and BrE.
    Oh yes! I don't think we'll ever get to know all of them. I find out new ones every week.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Oh yes! I don't think we'll ever get to know all of them. I find out new ones every week.

    I spent a few years in the U.S. and I heard people use 'mean' as an adjective to mean kind of being rude and harsh on others. I use 'stingy' to mean unwilling to spend money, excessively frugal.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    I spent a few years in the U.S. and I heard people use 'mean' as an adjective to mean kind of being rude and harsh on others. I use 'stingy' to mean unwilling to spend money, excessively frugal.
    Well, yes, the usage of it as "rude or harsh" matches my definition of it as meaning nasty.

    Some kids at school are really mean to [fat kids, kids with glasses, ginger kids etc etc].

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    One of the dictionary definitions of "mean" is "stingy, cheap, unwilling to spend money," but in AmE you will very, very, very rarely hear the word used in that context. In AmE when someone is described as "mean" it is because they are nasty, cruel or rude.

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    jiamajia/and anyone else who might not know:

    Note that 'stingy' has a /ʤ/ sound, unlike a few other words with the '-ingy' spelling.

    b

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    Default Re: mean=stingy?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Absolutely.
    ...
    I guess it's less absolute than it seemed at first.

    [Matt. 5:37]

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