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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 20
    #1

    Definition of "mean"

    Hello,

    I would greatly appreciate any help with the following:

    "This person travels light (only hand luggage) because he is mean."

    The sentence implies that a person only travels with hand luggage because he is 'cheap' and does not want to incur additional charges for the checked-in baggage.
    Is it correct to use the word 'mean' to describe a cheap person in the above situation Or, would it be correct to simply state that he is cheap?

    Appreciate the help, thanks.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Definition of "mean"

    Not cheap.

    Someone who is mean is miserly - resents and avoids spending money. Either of these would work in the sentence.

    • Member Info
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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    #3

    Re: Definition of "mean"

    Keep in mind that in much of the U.S., mean does not often signify miserly. People use it as a way of saying 'mean-spirited', cranky, bad tempered, etc.

    'That teacher was so mean! She never smiled, not even once.'
    'Stay away from their mean dog.'
    The mean old man always turned his hose on the neighborhood children.

    Words used commonly to express miserliness are stingy and tight-fisted. People who are miserly are called penny pinchers (and pinchpennies),
    skinflints and cheapskates.

    all best wishes,

    Petra


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: Definition of "mean"

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Keep in mind that in much of the U.S., mean does not often signify miserly. People use it as a way of saying 'mean-spirited', cranky, bad tempered, etc.

    'That teacher was so mean! She never smiled, not even once.'
    'Stay away from their mean dog.'
    The mean old man always turned his hose on the neighborhood children.

    Words used commonly to express miserliness are stingy and tight-fisted. People who are miserly are called penny pinchers (and pinchpennies),
    skinflints and cheapskates.

    all best wishes,

    Petra
    However, in the context provided "miserly" is the obvious meaning, as he is too mean to pay extra.

    • Member Info
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      • American English
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      • Current Location:
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    #5

    Re: Definition of "mean"

    Yes, of course you are correct. I should have made it clear that I was just appending another (regional) usage of the word. Sorry to create any confusion.



    Petra

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