back lot

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chopin7

Senior Member
Albanian
Hello

It's a movie about some crime in America.
The narrator speaks about a police officer cruising the roads of Little Rock,

"Then, he sees it, a car parked suspiciously in a back lot.
Inside, he notices a man slumped over in the driver’s seat.
And one thing strikes him as certain, this is no place to be taking an afternoon nap."

Now, what is back lot? Simply a parking lot, or something more specific, or something else?
The problem is that if it was a parking lot, why would he say "parked suspiciously".
I found something on line but it was confusing.
From the images, it seems simply a green lawn.

Thank you
 
  • JuanEscritor

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Hello

    It's a movie about some crime in America.
    The narrator speaks about a police officer cruising the roads of Little Rock,

    "Then, he sees it, a car parked suspiciously in a back lot.
    Inside, he notices a man slumped over in the driver’s seat.
    And one thing strikes him as certain, this is no place to be taking an afternoon nap."

    Now, what is back lot? Simply a parking lot, or something more specific, or something else?
    The problem is that if it was a parking lot, why would he say "parked suspiciously".
    I found something on line but it was confusing.
    From the images, it seems simply a green lawn.

    Thank you
    It's a parking lot behind a building or otherwise hidden from sight by normal passers by.

    JE
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A back lot is a piece of ground in back of something else, but not necessarily for the parking of motor vehicles.

    It can, for example, be part of a motion picture studio where sets are erected. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlot

    In your case, it appears to refer to a parking lot, but don't get trapped into thinking that's the only usage.
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Thank you, Juan and Sdgraham.
    But again, if it was a parking lot, why would it be suspicious to park a car there?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    There are many things that make a parked car look suspicious, e.g.

    It's the only car in the lot
    It's covered with dirt, indicating that it's been there a long time.
    And, the aforementioned gent slumped over the wheel or whatever.
    Etc.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    First, if it's a "back lot," it may not actually be a parking lot. As SD points out, the term sometimes denotes a parking lot, but not always. So perhaps this was suspicious just because cars don't usually park there.

    But even if it is a parking lot, it's one that's not generally used by the public. It might be for employees only, for example, in which case it might be used only during certain hours of the day. Or it could be (though the lines you quote don't indicate this) that the car was parked there for a suspiciously long time. Or it might simply be that it's not a place anybody would choose to park if he had another choice - for example, if it's a hot summer day, you wouldn't expect a person to sit in a car in the hot sun, nor would you expect anybody to voluntarily park for long next to a smelly garbage bin or something like that.

    It's impossible to tell exactly what made the police officer suspicious from the information you've provided.
     
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