bourgeois parents

aaronsun666

Senior Member
Mandarin
The big bang theory S01E10

Sheldon : Leonard, this is Toby Loobenfeld, he’s a research assistant in the particle physics lab, but he also minored in theatre at MIT.
Toby: It was more of a double major actually, theatre and physics. You can guess which one my bourgeois parents pushed me towards.

Bourgeois hereof means what? Middle class, interested in earning money, or capitalistic?
Please help.

 
  • roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hi Aaron! I will give you the link to the Word Reference's dictionary entry of "bourgeois": http://www.wordreference.com/definition/bourgeois

    In the context, it means Toby's parent that was materialistic and wanted him to earn money. The parent thought theatre would amount to nothing, so they had him study physics, too.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I see that "bourgeois" is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as belonging to or characteristic of the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes. I suspect that probably fits the context here.
     
    Last edited:

    aaronsun666

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Hi roxcyn,
    Is bouregeois a common word? Most native people know this word?
    I thought the other way around comparing with you. With all due respect I would believe that somebody who studies physics has a limited earning potential whereas who studies acting may get a much decent salary.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hi Aaron! The word came from French and it was one of the words we learned in school. I would say most people should be able to understand it. If not, they can inquire from the speaker or in a dictionary.

    It's all from a personal opinion regarding theater versus physics. If you can find a good position in either, I believe you would be able to get a good salary. Perhaps, Toby's parent believe it will be easier in physics. In The Big Bang Theory, Glee, and I Love Lucy series show how some of the actors have difficulty getting acting jobs. Penny in The Big Bang Theory seems never to be successful at finding an acting job. While, the other guys that study physics all have stable jobs.
     

    aaronsun666

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks DonnyB, is bouregeois not a common word? It seems like both you and roxcyn looked it up in a dictionary.

    Not trying to comment on your knowledge, just wanting to know what level that word is at. Please forgive me if you find my words offensive.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hi! No, I knew what it meant before. I just like to give people a reference to go to to view what it means.
     

    aaronsun666

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Yeah, your explanation makes sense. Yet Toby's words seemed ambiguous.

    However Toby said "you can guess" , therefore there shouldn't be any ambiguity. I am confused.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    "You can guess"-- means guess which bourgeois parent and which subject they wanted him to take. We have to use context clues, and from what I know from the show, I'd have to say it was physics the parent wanted him to take. However, I don't recall which parent.

    I hope that helps.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thanks DonnyB, is bouregeois not a common word? It seems like both you and roxcyn looked it up in a dictionary.

    Not trying to comment on your knowledge, just wanting to know what level that word is at. Please forgive me if you find my words offensive.
    No offence taken :)

    I knew what it meant: I just looked up the dictionary definition in order to be sure I was explaining it properly and giving you the correct answer ;)
    I wouldn't say it's in common everyday usage: you'd perhaps expect to see it written more than hear it spoken, I think.
     
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