at seventy-eight lean


Senior Member
France Français
Hello everyone!!

Could someone tell me please how he does understand this description? (it is an old man):
"He was six feet tall, at seventy-eight lean and still rugged looking with white hair (and, later:) he weighed about one-hundred-seventy pounds"
At the beginning, I thought it was a weight unit, but it is obvious it is not the case thanks to the end of this sentence. So I think it is the age of this man, but what does it mean exactly? Is this man "bent" because of his age?
Thank you for your explanations!
  • Quaeitur

    There could just be a comma missing

    He was 6 ft tall, at seventy-eight, lean and still rugged looking.

    Other ideas:
    - it is as we both first thought: he is lean and weights 78kg (=172 lbs!)
    - 78 is some kind of clothing size.


    Senior Member
    France Français
    Thanks guy!
    I suppose it is a question of weight (the author had tried to explain that this man was tinny...) Anyway, it won't change the rest of the story...
    Thank you all

    Dr. Baha'i

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    He is not tiny -- he's quite tall, but lean (thin).

    78 is definitely his age in years, not a clothing size. That would be an impossibly huge size for any measurement of clothing in the U.S., whether shoes, pants size, shirt size, or anything else.

    A comma might make it clearer but I don't think that it's needed here.
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