[Vocabulary] mean=stingy?

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jiamajia

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

Could it have a connotation that the guy is sort of stingy, not willing to spend money in certain contexts?
 
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emsr2d2

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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.
 

SoothingDave

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

jiamajia

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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.
 

emsr2d2

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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].
 

Ouisch

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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.
 

BobK

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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
 

Raymott

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Well, it still absolutely means that in BrE!
I'd dispute whether 'absolutely' absolutely means 'yes' anywhere. I still think this colloquialism is from the Evil One.
 

jiamajia

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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

I heard Rush Limbaugh call Harry Reid dingy Harry. It's a letter G sound, same as in stingy. Am I right?
 

birdeen's call

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What do Americans say when they want to say that someone doesn't want to give money to others? Except for "stingy".
 

Ouisch

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What do Americans say when they want to say that someone doesn't want to give money to others? Except for "stingy".

Such a person is a cheapskate, a penny-pincher, a skinflint, a tightwad. He'll squeeze a nickel until the buffalo chokes, he's tighter than bark on a tree.
 

birdeen's call

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Such a person is a cheapskate, a penny-pincher, a skinflint, a tightwad. He'll squeeze a nickel until the buffalo chokes, he's tighter than bark on a tree.
The buffalo one is funny! :lol: And I've just learned that it isn't spelled with double "l"! :)
 
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