a backpacker

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uTranslate

New Member
Finnish
Hi!

What does "You are a backpacker.." mean? It's two people talking about having enough money and getting a job to emigrate abroad.

Thanks!
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Welcome to the forum. A good place to start with a vocabulary question is the dictionary, using the search box at the top of the page. Here's the link to backpacker.
     

    uTranslate

    New Member
    Finnish
    Thank you.. I checked the couple of dozen meanings for backpacker in urban dictionary, but none seemed to match. It seems like a derogatory insult to me in the context..
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Urban Dictionary is perhaps the least reliable dictionary on the internet. We can't judge the intended meaning because you have provided no more than a very short sentence with no context and very little background - backpackers don't need much money to travel, so why should it be an insult? If you provide more information, including the source, we might be able to help. If you look in the first sticky thread in the forum, you will find advice on how to ask a question. It's worth reading if you want us to help you. :)

    Please READ this before you post: English Only Guidelines — forum rules.
     

    uTranslate

    New Member
    Finnish
    I would love to provide more context but these are SMS massages so there is no more context... That's why it's difficult to get the meaning...
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would love to provide more context but these are SMS massages so there is no more context... That's why it's difficult to get the meaning...
    There is always context. In this case, the context is provided by (a) the previous messages in that conversation and (b) what you know of the two people in it: their nationality (which determines the type of English they use), their ages, their economic situation ... All of that and more is helpful when we try to understand a term that has several possible meanings.
     

    uTranslate

    New Member
    Finnish
    I don't have previous messages. They're British nationals, age around 35, economic situation poor... if that helps..
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, that helps a great deal. It means they are using "backpacker" to mean a person who travels around with all of his or her possessions in a backpack. It does not mean a person who hikes for recreation, carrying a tent, food, clean sock and so on in a backpack. A backpacker in the sense of this quotation has very little money and is trying to live as economically as possible, taking the least expensive means of transportation even if it is slow and uncomfortable, eating inexpensive food, staying in hostels or sleeping outdoors... If there is an insult here, it is in the suggestion that this person doesn't have enough money to live in a more luxurious way (even if it's not truly luxurious as most people would understand that term).
     
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