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  1. #1
    chebu's Avatar
    chebu is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy meaning of "soft-skinned"

    Your help will be highly appreciated.

    What is the meaning of "soft-skinned " in the following sentences?
    It's a part of a short novel.

    "It’s true. I did borrow Mother’s Carmen Miranda Red lipstick
    and dangling sapphire earrings. Nine years old, Nicole Odair—
    gloriously, fabulously beautiful. I lost one earring, of course: hanging
    upside down, skirt flying over my head, careless Nicole exposed on
    the monkey bars.
    Mother charged me ninety-two dollars so that she could buy a
    new pair. But they were too dear, those sparkling jewels, a greatgrandmother’slast gift, Here, my darling, be wonderful. To punish
    us, Mother never replaced them.
    Still, I paid. Ninety-two dollars. I was a child with no piggy bank
    full of coins, no secret savings, no allowance. You can pay it off in
    work, she said. Thirty cents an hour.
    Nine, ten, eleven years old, she hoped I’d learned my lesson.
    I did learn. I learned my soft-skinned mother who spoke Spanish
    with a rippling tongue could turn mean in my language, could cling
    to loss, could hurt as long as memory lasted.
    Mother! I can’t forgive you. To forgive, some place in the heart
    has to remain hard, has to hold a stone of blame to cast in silence. I
    am washed clean by grief and guttered out by the strange sound of
    merciful laughter."

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by chebu; 05-Oct-2007 at 08:43. Reason: lack of words

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: meaning of "soft-skinned"

    It sounds literal to me- he skin was soft to the toch.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: meaning of "soft-skinned"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It sounds literal to me- her skin was soft to the touch.
    Either that or it may be used to imply contrast to 'thick-skinned' (thick-skinned: Definition and Much More from Answers.com ). Maybe the author is suggesting that her normally compliant/forgiving/sensitive mother has a darker side.

    b

  4. #4
    chebu's Avatar
    chebu is offline Junior Member
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    Re: meaning of "soft-skinned"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It sounds literal to me- he skin was soft to the toch.
    Dear Tdol,
    Thank you for reply.

  5. #5
    chebu's Avatar
    chebu is offline Junior Member
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    Re: meaning of "soft-skinned"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Either that or it may be used to imply contrast to 'thick-skinned' (thick-skinned: Definition and Much More from Answers.com ). Maybe the author is suggesting that her normally compliant/forgiving/sensitive mother has a darker side.

    b
    Thank you for your help.

    Since the author writes "(her mother) could turn mean...",
    maybe the author suggests that the mather has some bad character.

    "I learned my soft-skinned mother who spoke Spanish
    with a rippling tongue could turn mean in my language, could cling
    to loss, could hurt as long as memory lasted."

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