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Wu Ting
How would you interpret the phrase “he wasn’t onto me”? How would you interpret the phrase “he wasn’t onto me” in the fourth sentence? I guess it means the man didn’t seem malicious to the protagonist? What do you think? Thank you. PS: the excerpt is taken from “Kneller’s Happy Campers” written by an Israeli author, Etgar Keret. And I’m reading an English translation. the context: I met Uzi Gelfand at Stiff Drinks, almost by accident. He acted real friendly. Bought me a beer and everything, which weirded me out cause I figured he must be trying to stick it to me or something. But pretty soon I saw he wasn’t onto me at all, just bored. He was a few years older than me, and going bald, so the little scar—the one on his right temple where the bullet went in—stuck out even more, and so did the other one, which was much bigger, on the left side, where it went out. “Used a dumdum,” Gelfand goes, and winks at two girls standing at the bar right next to us drinking Diet Coke. “I mean if you’re gonna do it, do it right.” It wasn’t until after those two ditched us for some blond guy with a ponytail that he admitted he’d only chatted me up cause he thought we were together.
Sep 19, 2019 8:51 AM
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Answers · 4
Here it means he didn't like me - 對我沒有好感.
September 19, 2019
I presume this is not the correct translation. It's probably "he wasn't into me". The word into has taken on a slang meaning of being very interested in something. So, in the monologue above, "he wasn't into me" means he had no interest in me. (Usually meaning no romantic interest -- though a one-night sex adventure would still be possible even if you're not interested in the person.) You can be into other things, not just people: into cars, into sports, into politics. I'm into language learning and computers. By the way, the term "onto me" implies something different. This is what someone would say if they were trying to pull off a scam or pulling a trick on someone. If the intended target started to get suspicious, you could say "I think he's onto me."
September 19, 2019
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English