Sasha
I think I was mean to him. Hello! What is the other way of saying these sentences? Well, my teacher was mean to me today. I think I was mean to him. What is meant my 'mean' in these sentences in the first place? rude? unjust, unfair? captious? Thank you very much!
Oct 18, 2019 10:16 AM
Answers · 5
As Chris says, 'mean' used in this way means cruel. It can also mean malicious, unfair or 'nasty'. This is an American usage which has slowly become international. I grew up in a language environment where the only everyday meaning of 'mean' was tight-fisted: the opposite of generous. Nowadays, young people everywhere are influenced by American media and use 'mean' to refer to unkind behaviour towards someone. Language changes. Now here's a question. How many italki members know what 'captious' means? I'll admit that I didn't until 5 minutes ago when I looked it up in a dictionary. It means 'very critical', I discover. Tip: if you google a word and the only results you get are dictionaries and thesauruses, you know that it isn't particularly useful or common. But thank you, Sasha, for teaching me an English word!
October 18, 2019
Thank you, Chris!
October 18, 2019
Usually it means cruel
October 18, 2019
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Sasha
Language Skills
English, French, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
English, French