Cheap, stingy?

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Toyita

Senior Member
Español, Colombia
Hello

A person is trying to say that I shouldn't think about how expensive a taxi cab can be if I don't have another option to go back home. So that person says : Don't be cheap, but I know there is another word: stingy.

"If you have to take a taxi, don't think about the price. Don't be cheap with those things"

My question is : Which one is better option for this situation?

<<Spanish transliteration deleted>>

Thank you.
 
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  • djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    I (BE) would normally say stingy. If I find this too colloquial I might say "Don't be mean" or "Don't be niggardly". To me cheap is an adjective qualifying something that is to be bought, while stingy refers to the person buying who doesn't want to pay too much.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    In the US we would say don't be cheap or don't be such a cheapskate. Just beware that I would not advise using 'niggardly'. That word touched off a huge firestorm of protests here in the US some years ago by many African American groups, although it is a perfectly legitimate word with no connection whatsoever to any racist meaning. The hapless user was forced to resign his public service job.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If I find this too colloquial I might say [..] "Don't be niggardly".
    ???:eek::confused::warning: Eh?

    Edit: I hadn't come across that word before, but I just checked it out on the net. I had made what looks like a frequent misunderstanding.
    I see it was taken into English from other Germanic roots, and its cognate used to exist in Old English as hneaw, meaning "stingy", but didn't pass into Middle English directly, but from the Vikings and their version hnøggr (which then combined with various suffixes -ard and -ly).

    Still, just based on the similarity to the other N-word, I would have to advise against it as a word that a learner of English might use and not be able to explain if challenged on it.
     
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    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I (BE) would normally say stingy. If I find this too colloquial I might say "Don't be mean" or "Don't be niggardly". To me cheap is an adjective qualifying something that is to be bought, while stingy refers to the person buying who doesn't want to pay too much.
    In AE, a person who won't pay very much for anything is described as cheap, at least informally or colloquially. AE doesn't use mean to describe someone who is economical in his spending; we only use it as a synonym for nasty or vicious. Cinderella's step-sisters were mean to her. American children call their parents and teachers mean if they think they are being treated unfairly or if they think too much is being expected of them; a teacher who gives a lot of homework might be described by her students as mean. Scrooge might have been mean, but in modern AE not because he was stingy.

    Stingy and cheap are both fine in AE, with cheap being the less formal.

    Do not ever even think of using the N-word, or anything that sounds remotely like it, in the U.S. In addition to the aide to the mayor of the District of Columbia who was fired for using it, teachers have been disciplined for telling their students about it.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Moderator note: That hoary* old chestnut niggardly has come up before in this forum. If anyone would like to discuss the suitability of the term, they'll need to open a new and separate thread about it. This thread is about cheap and stingy.

    *Oh dear, am I allowed to say that? ~ it does sound so horribly like whorey. I hope no-one here is offended.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Moderator note: That hoary* old chestnut niggardly has come up before in this forum. If anyone would like to discuss the suitability of the term, they'll need to open a new and separate thread about it. This thread is about cheap and stingy.

    *Oh dear, am I allowed to say that? ~ it does sound so horribly like whorey. I hope no-one here is offended.
    How well I remember, but could not find it. Thanks Ewie. You are right! (And, hoary was not offensive to me.)
     
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