A beat girl

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Odarpi, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Odarpi Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
    Is this expression clear to you? Does it mean the girl is attractive?

    "So who did Nick bring home last night?" Evelyn asked.
    "[...] A girl. She's rather beat. Thirty-five or something"

    S. Clifford - Everybody Rise

  2. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    English (American)
    No, it means the opposite: old and worn. The usage is related to expressions like "weather-beaten" or "beat-up."
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I think Glenfarclas is right, but I have to say that I've never heard beat used this way.
  4. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    Usually, "to be beat" just means to be tired (temporarily). I don't think the use of the word here is clear.
  5. I agree with everybody :): not complimentary, never heard it used that way, unclear.
  6. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    This sounds so odd to me that the first thing I thought of was "beat" as in "beatnik." That doesn't fit the context, but that's what I thought of first.
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I've never heard it either, but submissions to the Urban Dictionary suggest that it means "ugly":

    Extremely ugly; probably derived from "beat with the ugly stick"
    Man, I thought she'd have some hot friends, but boy, were they beat!
    by Alison July 23, 2002

    straight out ugly. disgusting and hideous. atrocious.
    yo that girl is beat
    by peeleep October 27, 2004
  8. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    When I'm tired, I say "I'm beat!" "She's beat." doesn't seem that odd (though I admit that I did consider whether the novel might be old enought that she knew Ginsberg and Kerouac).
  9. Me too!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  10. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    "Beat" meaning "lame/bad/crappy, etc." existed among a certain group of kids I knew back in the late 70s. I'm mildly surprised that others in the world have also given it this meaning in the 21st century. Although I've never heard any other people use it, those kids might have picked it up from someone else back then. Until I saw this thread, I thought the word disappeared when they did.

    As they used it, "You're beat" meant "You're lame/you suck."
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  11. Odarpi Senior Member

    Polish - Poland
    Thank you! :)
  12. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    If you're talking about how tired someone is, "She's beat" sounds fine. "She's rather beat" sounds a bit odder but still possible. But this context doesn't make it sound at all as though they are discussing the level of tiredness of this person. So it sounds very odd indeed.

    I think the slang meanings suggested by Owlman and others work much better. :thumbsup:
  13. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    With no more context, it's possible that he picked her up in a bar very late at night, brought her home, and they got very little sleep so she is tired. ;)
  14. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Sure. Lots of things are possible. Not necessarily likely, but possible. :)
  15. The quote was also "Thirty five or something." So...which is more likely the meaning here as a motive for mentioning her age at all? She looks tired because of her age, because younger people never look tired or even get tired? or "She looks way too old for me, look at her face, she must be 35 years old."
  16. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish

    What year is that from?
  17. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Well, as near as I can glean from Google Books, that's exactly the context. Nick and Pres have an ongoing context to see who can bring a girl home, using an opening line that relates to financial matters. Nick apparently won on this occasion, and is described as high on cocaine. Immediately after this conversation, Nick tries to sneak the girl out of the house, and her eyes are mascara-stained, presumably from the night before.

    I don't know how much this actually helps, but this is all we have about the girl that I can find in the Google preview.

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