a bitter/unfortunate man

arueng

Senior Member
CHINESE
Hi,
I'm looking for an English phrase of our Chinese version "a bitter-life person," which means a person who was born poor and went through numerous sufferings throughout his life. What do you name this kind of person? Thanks.
 
  • AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I thought this was a common saying, but I can't find anything on Google.

    Anyone else ever heard of it?


    He had/He's had a hard life from the time he was born.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    I thought this was a common saying, but I can't find anything on Google.

    Anyone else ever heard of it?


    He had/He's had a hard life from the time he was born.
    Thanks, Angel, for your version.

    I conjecture that your edition is similar to "He's lived a dog life from the time he was born. But what I look for is an adjective! How about this?

    He's been a hard-life person// a dog-life person.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    Would a hard-luck casesuit your purposes?

    And sorry, these aren't quite right.
    Thanks, Angel.

    I did look hard-luck up and it seems to suit my purpose.

    By the way, why did you put a case after hard-luck and use the plural purposes?
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Thanks, Angel.

    I did look hard-luck up and it seems to suit my purpose.

    By the way, why did you put a case after hard-luck and use the plural purposes?

    Hard-luck case is a familiarly set phrase in my experience. It's immediately recognizable to me. Maybe others will back me up on that. You definitely wouldn't call him a hard-luck man.

    Another form of this: if that person were to give examples of all the bad things that have happened to him, he would be telling us his hard-luck stories. That's another familiar phrase.

    As to my use of the plural form of purposes: hmmm, I learn so much about my own AE usage here! ;)

    Again, this is another - maybe just to me, though! - way of expressing my thought. You're right, though, you have had a singular purpose in posting this thread.

    Technically, how I wrote it was wrong then. I should have stated that I hoped my suggestion suited your purpose.
     
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