a former-frat-boy-rapist vibe

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nile84

Senior Member
Persian
Hello

Friends, would you help me with this phrase, please?

The group of suit-clad guys across the bar watched the game. They gave off a former-frat-boy-rapist vibe. Early to mid-thirties, the five of them, two going fleshy, all with eyes that were too small and too bright at the same time.

Since We Fell - Dennis Lehane
 
  • snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    Touchy phrase. To "give off a vibe" is a bit of 1960s-era American slang meaning "to radiate a certain kind of presence." You may have heard of "good vibes" or "bad vibes," referring to intangible good or bad feelings one gets from things. It's short for "vibration."

    "Former-frat-boy-rapist" refers to a class of people characterized by association with college fraternity culture, which is unfortunately notorious for rampant sexual assault perpetrated by many of its members, and a generally overcasual attitude toward the same. Since it says "former," we're talking about people who would have been part of that culture when they were in college, and are now older but still tainted by the ways of their youth.

    Taken together, this description says that the men seem overprivileged, amoral, misogynistic, materialistic, predatory, etc.
     

    DrChen

    Senior Member
    French-France
    As a matter of fact, 'frat boy rapist' can be considered by some as redundant, as "frat boy" itself is a disapproving term used to refer to an obnoxious male member of a college fraternity, who is likely to rape passed out drunk girls in parties (a reality which, sadly, often makes the news). I guess Dennis Lehane wanted to emphasize that aspect of "frat boys".

    EDIT: cross-posted with snargleplax
     

    snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    DrChen, I hope it's clear that I don't disagree about the problems of frat culture, but I think you make an overstatement when you claim that just by virtue of being a frat boy, someone is likely to rape passed out drunk girls at parties. It's distressingly common, but I've not seen evidence that over 50% of frat boys are direct perpetrators of such acts -- which is what your statement implies. If someone is a rapist, it generally does not go without saying.
     

    DrChen

    Senior Member
    French-France
    Snargleplax, yes, sorry, I do not myself think that the majority of frat boys do it. I wrote that in the continuation of the opinion of people who think using the term with "rapist" is redundant. I don't know if I'm making myself clear.
    Also, nile84, you probably got it but I just wanted to make sure you're not confused: not all fraternity members are considered as frat boys. Just the ones with the characteristics stated by snargleplax and I.
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Touchy phrase. To "give off a vibe" is a bit of 1960s-era American slang meaning "to radiate a certain kind of presence." You may have heard of "good vibes" or "bad vibes," referring to intangible good or bad feelings one gets from things. It's short for "vibration."

    "Former-frat-boy-rapist" refers to a class of people characterized by association with college fraternity culture, which is unfortunately notorious for rampant sexual assault perpetrated by many of its members, and a generally overcasual attitude toward the same. Since it says "former," we're talking about people who would have been part of that culture when they were in college, and are now older but still tainted by the ways of their youth.

    Taken together, this description says that the men seem overprivileged, amoral, misogynistic, materialistic, predatory, etc.
    It really helped; thanks a million.
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    As a matter of fact, 'frat boy rapist' can be considered by some as redundant, as "frat boy" itself is a disapproving term used to refer to an obnoxious male member of a college fraternity, who is likely to rape passed out drunk girls in parties (a reality which, sadly, often makes the news). I guess Dennis Lehane wanted to emphasize that aspect of "frat boys".

    EDIT: cross-posted with snargleplax
    Thanks a lot, DrChen :thumbsup:
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Also, nile84, you probably got it but I just wanted to make sure you're not confused: not all fraternity members are considered as frat boys. Just the ones with the characteristics stated by snargleplax and I.
    Sure I got it. Thanks again.
     

    snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    Snargleplax, yes, sorry, I do not myself think that the majority of frat boys do it. I wrote that in the continuation of the opinion of people who think using the term with "rapist" is redundant. I don't know if I'm making myself clear.
    All good, solid of you to address it. :)

    not all fraternity members are considered as frat boys. Just the ones with the characteristics stated by snargleplax and I.
    I'd say "frat boy" has a literal sense that applies to all fraternity members, and a somewhat figurative derogatory sense that applies to this more restricted set. The latter sees wider usage though, definitely.
     
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