Easygoing

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englishhobby

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I can't find an exact equivalent to this word in my language. When I looked it up in an English -Russian dictionary (Oxford) and then looked up (back) the Russian word I found in a Russian-English dictionary (Oxford), the result I got was the following:


placid, equable, good-humoured.


Of course, I tried monolingual dictionaries too, e.g. Webster Online Dictionary which said easygoing means relaxed and informal, and Longman where it was interpreted as not easily upset, annoyed, or worried.

I realize that all these words are very close in meaning, but there is something about this word (easygoing) which remains unclear to me. So here are a few questions to native speakers of English:
1. Can a person be called easygoing if he combines the following qualities: he is kind-hearted,
fun to be with, easy to deal with, has a good sense of humour, very lively, passionate and energetic? I am especially interested whether the quality of being easygoing can include being lively and energetic. Could you please give some examples from your personal experience?




 

5jj

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Look back at the words you found in the dictionary: placid, equable, good-humoured, not easily upset, annoyed, or worried. A person who displays these qualities may well be kind-hearted, fun to be with, easy to deal with and have a food sense of humour, but these ideas are not necessarily contained in 'easy-going'. There is no connection at all between 'easy-going' and lively, passionate and energetic.
 

moeb8

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Easygoing is someone who rarely displays anger, is jovial and never stresses out.
The poster boy of easygoing is The Dude from the film "The Big Lebowski"

The Dude was described as:
"Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude, in Los Angeles. And even if he's a lazy man - and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide."

So, if the poster boy of easy going is most aptly described as 'lazy' then that should be backbone of easygoing. He also fits right in because he is so 'easygoing.' He doesn't step on toes, and is never cause for worry.

That is the best way I can describe it. You know easygoing when you meet it.
 

5jj

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So, if the poster boy of easy going is most aptly described as 'lazy' then that should be backbone of easygoing.
No. easy-going people may be lazy, but they may not be.

What do you mean by 'poster boy'?
 

emsr2d2

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I would agree that you could describe The Dude as the poster boy for "easy-going", but he was also very lazy. The two do not always go together.
 

englishhobby

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No. easy-going people may be lazy, but they may not be.

What do you mean by 'poster boy'?

That's just what I meant when I asked about being enegetic. I understand that being energetic and easygoing are not connected at all, I am just wondering would you (native speakers) be surprised if you met a VERY active and energetic, and well-organized person and then heard someone describe his personality as easygoing.
 

emsr2d2

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That's just what I meant when I asked about being enegetic. I understand that being energetic and easygoing are not connected at all, I am just wondering would you (native speakers) be surprised if you met a VERY active and energetic, and well-organized person and then heard someone describe his personality as easygoing.

It's their personality that is easy-going, not their level of activity.

I know someone very easy-going (incredibly easy to get on with, almost everyone likes her, I've never heard her raise her voice, she is always in a relatively good mood), but she works very hard at her job, goes to the gym five days a week and is incredibly well-organised. She just does all of those things in a very easy-going manner.
 

moeb8

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No. easy-going people may be lazy, but they may not be.

What do you mean by 'poster boy'?

'Poster boy' as in when you think of easy going, he is the first one to mind. He has a whole philosophy named after him called 'Dudeism' which promotes 'taking it easy' and being 'cool headed' in the face of adversity.

They may not be lazy, but the connotation is that they are. Connotation can impact a word and steer it away from its dictionary meaning. And a term like this largely depends on the connotation.
 

englishhobby

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It's their personality that is easy-going, not their level of activity.

I know someone very easy-going (incredibly easy to get on with, almost everyone likes her, I've never heard her raise her voice, she is always in a relatively good mood), but she works very hard at her job, goes to the gym five days a week and is incredibly well-organised. She just does all of those things in a very easy-going manner.

Thank you, emsr2d2!!! Your answer is EXACTLY what I was looking for!!! Because in Webster's description of easygoing was this word "relaxed" which is associated (to me) with a low level of activity. Perhaps, Americans and the Britons have a different idea of this word?
 

Barb_D

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I think part of some confusion comes from "good-humo(u)red" not being the same as "having a good sense of humor."
 

5jj

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Because in Webster's description of easygoing was this word "relaxed" which is associated (to me) with a low level of activity. Perhaps, Americans and the Britons have a different idea of this word?
Some people (I am unfortunately not one of them) can work quite hard but remain relaxed.
 
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BobK

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I wonder which came first, the adjective 'easygoing' or the idiomatic expression 'Easy come, easy go.'...? A visit to a decent dictionary beckons:)

b
 

englishhobby

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I think part of some confusion comes from "good-humo(u)red" not being the same as "having a good sense of humor."

Interesting! And I thought that the word humour "embeded" in "good-humoured" implies having a sence of humour. So, one can be good-humoured and have no sense of humo(u)r at the same time. On the other hand, as I see it, it's very hard to deal with a person having no sense of humour (in my experience).:-(
 

englishhobby

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I wonder which came first, the adjective 'easygoing' or the idiomatic expression 'Easy come, easy go.'...? A visit to a decent dictionary beckons:)

b
The verbs are more important for survival, so they definitely came first :lol: And adjectives appeared later, when Man allowed himself to relax and gaze around at others.)
 

emsr2d2

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As you can see from the definitions here, one's "humour" can refer to mood.

He is in ill humour today = He is in a bad mood.
She is very good-humoured = She is generally in a good mood.
 
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englishhobby

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it's very hard to deal with a person having no sense of humour (in my experience).:-(

Though I know some people with a "sarcastic" variety of sense of humour who are VERY hard to deal with. So, a sense of humour really doesn't matter.
 

englishhobby

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Some people (I am unforunately not one of them) can work quite hard but remain relaxed.

Indeed, words like "relaxed" and "good-humoured" are confusing to us, non-native speakers. ) Thank you for your comment, 5jj!
 
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