KudoZ home » English » Art/Literary

a man of leisure

English translation: see explanation

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
15:24 Aug 13, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: a man of leisure
No obvious context, a line in a movie:
"I'm not a man of leisure like John."
Anna, citato
Sweden
Local time: 01:02
English translation:see explanation
Explanation:
You more often come across this as a 'lady of leisure', which describes a woman with no paid employment, normally financed (by husband or family) to entertain herself shopping, lunching, etc.

A man of leisure would be a man who had time on his hands and the money to enjoy it!

HTH

Mary

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 15:34:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OED definition: e. lady (or woman) of leisure, a woman who has no regular employment or whose time is free from obligations to others.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 15:48:04 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

There could also be a slightly derogatory aspect inasmuch as it is a term normally applied to women! (-:

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 16:52:21 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Originally, John K is right that this would be applied to people of independent means ... and has nuances of class. But I think its usage has been diluted to mean somebody who has time on their hands (without necessarily having to worry about having to earn money).

I might say to a friend of mine whose youngest daughter is just about to go to school - \'so you\'ll be a lady of leisure now!\' Which doesn\'t necessarily mean she\'ll be of independent means ;-)

The implication in the context sentence provided is that the speaker does not have the time to do something in the same way as John does. It may also imply that he does not have the money. But the time is the more important factor.
Selected response from:

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:02
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +6see explanation
Mary Worby
3 +5independently wealthy
Marion Burns
5 +1Thought you'd find this interesting
Catherine Bolton
5a man with time to spare
Rafa Lombardino
4 +1a man able to pursue leisure pursuits to the full
jerrie
5usefully unemployedxxxR.J.Chadwick
4see the dictionary definition below
CLS Lexi-tech
4An idle manTelesforo Fernandez
4Free from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activitiesFuad Yahya


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
independently wealthy


Explanation:
Without context I would guess it's a wealthy person, someone with an independent income who does not have to work for a living

Marion Burns
United States
Local time: 19:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Claudia Andreani
8 mins

agree  John Kinory
56 mins

agree  jerrie: My comment would've been too long for here, so I've done a sep. answer
3 hrs

agree  Jack Doughty: A nice position to be in, because as Oscar Wilde put itÑ "Work is the curse of the drinking classes".
3 hrs
  -> Thanks. I'll drink to that!

agree  Ildiko Santana
5 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
see explanation


Explanation:
You more often come across this as a 'lady of leisure', which describes a woman with no paid employment, normally financed (by husband or family) to entertain herself shopping, lunching, etc.

A man of leisure would be a man who had time on his hands and the money to enjoy it!

HTH

Mary

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 15:34:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OED definition: e. lady (or woman) of leisure, a woman who has no regular employment or whose time is free from obligations to others.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 15:48:04 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

There could also be a slightly derogatory aspect inasmuch as it is a term normally applied to women! (-:

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 16:52:21 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Originally, John K is right that this would be applied to people of independent means ... and has nuances of class. But I think its usage has been diluted to mean somebody who has time on their hands (without necessarily having to worry about having to earn money).

I might say to a friend of mine whose youngest daughter is just about to go to school - \'so you\'ll be a lady of leisure now!\' Which doesn\'t necessarily mean she\'ll be of independent means ;-)

The implication in the context sentence provided is that the speaker does not have the time to do something in the same way as John does. It may also imply that he does not have the money. But the time is the more important factor.

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 164

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Piotr Kurek
36 mins

neutral  John Kinory: It's only derogatory if you feel like that about people of independent means.
56 mins
  -> I don't think it necessarily means someone of independent means, just someone who has time on their hands ...

agree  Anette Herbert
1 hr

agree  Yelena.
1 hr

neutral  Irene Chernenko: Has more widespread use for "lady" as a cliche, a meaningless quip. For "man" it is a more literary - or truthful - term.
4 hrs

agree  Antonio Camangi
4 hrs

agree  xxxKanta Rawat
13 hrs

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
20 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
a man with time to spare


Explanation:
a man that dedicates himself to recreational matters

Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 16:02
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  John Kinory: In BE, there's a whole cultural subcontext that is to do with having a private income and not having to work. What they do with their spare time is irrelevant.
50 mins

agree  CLS Lexi-tech: the leisured classes, the classes who do not have to work, i.e. have time on their hand to spare...
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
An idle man


Explanation:
Perhaps, he wants to say tht he is not idle like John.Must be quite Jealous of John.

Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 04:32
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  John Kinory: See my replies to Mary and Rafaela
36 mins

agree  CLS Lexi-tech: free from occupation or business or gainful employment, idle in a certain sense
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
see the dictionary definition below


Explanation:
Leisure \Lei"sure\, a. Unemployed; as, leisure hours.
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)
Leisure \Lei"sure\ (l[=e]"zh[-u]r; 135), n. [OE. leisere, leiser, OF. leisir, F. loisir, orig., permission, fr. L. licere to be permitted. See {License}.] 1. Freedom from occupation or business; vacant time; time free from employment.
The desire of leisure is much more natural than of business and care. --Sir W. Temple.

2. Time at one's command, free from engagement; convenient opportunity; hence, convenience; ease.

He sighed, and had no leisure more to say. --Dryden.

{At leisure}. (a) Free from occupation; not busy. (b) In a leisurely manner; at a convenient time.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)
leisure adj : free from duties or responsibilities; "he writes in his leisure hours"; "life as it ought to be for the leisure classes"- J.J.Chapman; "even the artist and the sculptor were not regarded...as leisured men"- Ida Craven [syn: {leisure(a)}, {leisured}] n 1: time available for ease and relaxation; "his job left him little leisure" [syn: {leisure time}] 2: freedom to choose a pastime or enjoyable activity; "he lacked the leisure for golf"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-13 18:16:42 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Guls Hornebooke, The



A satirical book of manners by Dekker, published 1609.

It is an attack on the fops and gallants of the day under the guise of ironical instructions how they may make themselves conspicuous in places of public resort by their offensive conduct. The occupations of a young man of leisure are described; his dressing, his walk in \'Paul\'s\', his meal at the \'ordinary\', the visit to the playhouse, etc. It is a parody of the courtesy-books of the period, and was suggested by a German original (see Grobian).


The Oxford Companion to English Literature, © Margaret Drabble and Oxford University Press 1995

Veblen, Thorstein (1857 - 1929)
American economist and social scientist


Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.
Theory of the Leisure Class ( (1899)) ch. 4


leisure class as the opposite of working class



CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 19:02
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  John Kinory: This vindicates my comments on Telesforo and Rafaela: leisure class as the opposite of working class, people who have money without having to work for it.
3 hrs
  -> perhaps, although my point was about using an inclusive approach and constructive interventions. Cheers!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Free from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities


Explanation:
The American Heritage Dictionary defines "leisure" as "freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities." A man of leisure is one whose lifestyle is characterized by this kind of "freedom."

I believe the implication is that "John" can afford this lifestyle, but it is not always the case, of course. The sentence evinces both disdain and envy, in my opinion.


Fuad


    American Heritage Dictionary
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a man able to pursue leisure pursuits to the full


Explanation:
A man who is not financially committed to working 9-5 Mon-Fri, and can therefore stay in bed until mid-day, take in a round of golf, do a bit of shopping then out of the town till the early hours.

A typical topical example is Will in About a Boy. He doesn't have to work because he lives off the royalties of his father's one hit wonder Xmas record. He spends his time sleeping, shopping, watching day-time TV and infiltrating one-parent family social groups (it's a lonely life being a man of independant means).

If you think of extreme wealth you might imagine days spent trout fishing, grouse shooting, hunting etc.

So, to put your sentence into context:

"Unlike John, I have to go out and work for a living."

And a quote from the web for similar use:"A week after the fight, Sayers was awarded the enormous sum of £3000, all of it raised by public subscription, with the proviso that he never fight again. He never did. He invested the money and spent the rest of his days as a man of leisure."
(Although £3,000 doesn't seem so much to retire on)

hth

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ildiko Santana
2 hrs
  -> Thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Thought you'd find this interesting


Explanation:
Note the date!
He certainly sounds like a man of means too (silk socks...). And how about that wonderful term "spludging"?

"Spludging"
What a Southern Young White Man of Leisure Does in New York City, 1835

Dear Preston,
. . . . Edward L Royall of Nottaway County Petersburg Va. has been spludging for the last six weeks in New York. He stays at the American Hotel goes to bed late rises at 11 a.m. puts on a Wheeler suit brushes his hair looks three times in the glass gets a smile walks out gives his coat a pull on one side then on the other looks at his legs and sees a foot nicely encased in black silk socks but over these a pair of morocco boots made "Broadway opposite the City Hotel." A girl passes, he exclaims 'I swear that is a pretty woman,' turns half round and looks. At night goes to the Theatre and in his room acts half the scenes over again just where his image in the glass may see him for he would be without spectators. He intends returning here to attend Silliman's and Olmstead's Lectures and the remaining time he will devote to law, the study of the law. . . .

William Thompson

William Thompson of Mercer County, Ky. to William Preston of Louisville, Ky. at Yale College, October 4, 1835, Box 43, Wickliffe-Preston Family Papers, Special Collections and Archives at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.




    Reference: http://www.uky.edu/LCC/HIS/scraps/spludging.html
Catherine Bolton
Local time: 01:02
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 98

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: exactly - nice ref!
5 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
usefully unemployed


Explanation:
If you want to put a positive cast on it. I.e. anyone who does not need to work (need not be wealthy) but who spends their time in a positive manner.

The phrase need not be negative and can be used to describe a comfortable and healthy retirement for example.

xxxR.J.Chadwick
Local time: 07:02
PRO pts in pair: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search