closet Christian

Icara

New Member
Italian
Hi, everybody.
I need a little help. I can't translate properly the adjective "closet" into Italian: who is a "closet Christian"? Does it mean something like "in disguise"?
Thank you!
 
  • elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    "Closet" means when you don't own up to being something. A "closet gay" would be someone who doesn't want to be known as gay, for example. So a "closet Christian" would be someone who doesn't acknowledge being Christian in public. It's a derogatory term because it means the speaker considers that person to be hypocritical.

    So now...how would one translate that? :)
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Cristiano segreto". It isn't necessarily derogatory ; there are still plenty of places where Christians are persecuted.
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    "Cristiano segreto". It isn't necessarily derogatory ; there are still plenty of places where Christians are persecuted.
    Hi velisarius,

    I'm certainly not making a judgment call about Christians in general. You may be right that it's not necessarily derogatory, but I think we need to see the context. It's an adjective that certainly says more about the speaker than the person being described. :)
     

    Icara

    New Member
    Italian
    Sorry for being unclear. This word is used in a romance I am reading: "They could not enter the church doorway, unless they were closet Christian". I suppose this means that the characters are not Christian at all. Is it right?
    Thank you.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    Ho visto usare il termine cripto-cristiano, che forse è un po' troppo ricercato in questo contesto.
    Non vuol assolutamente dire che non sono cristiani, ma che sono cristiani non dichiarati.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    "They could not enter the church doorway, unless they were closet Christian".
    Could you give us some more context please, or perhaps correct it if there’s a mistake? This doesn’t really make sense to me; sounds like there's some kind of Christian-detecting force-field. :confused:
     
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    Icara

    New Member
    Italian
    "Segretamente cristiano" seems the most suitable meaning to me... it sounds like "being Christian without revealing this".
    Thank you all!
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    Shouldn't it be closeted? I've never seen closet something, but maybe it's the author's style?
    Definitely not "closeted" EFC ;) To be a "closet" someone is an expression, the meaning of which has already been discussed. I agree with Mark that it is a strange use of it here - but the meaning of it is fairly clear, that the people being described won't or cannot reveal themselves to be Christian.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Why not? Is it only used when talking about LGBT people? (here)

    EFC
    No, Elfa was saying that closet is a lot more common than closeted -both in the case of Christians and in the case of gay people. Gay people who are hiding their sexual orientation are said to be in the closet, or a closet lesbian etc.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hi!
    Shouldn't it be closeted? I've never seen closet something, but maybe it's the author's style?

    EFC
    No.:) Have a look at my post 7: there's a link to the WR dictionary and all the other threads about the same word:).

    Edit. Scusa, ho visto adesso il link, hai ragione: dev'essere AE, però - mai sentito in BE.;)

    .
     
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    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    No, Elfa was saying that closet is a lot more common than closeted -both in the case of Christians and in the case of gay people. Gay people who are hiding their sexual orientation are said to be in the closet, or a closet lesbian etc.
    Well, reading EFC's link, I must say that I hadn't even heard of "closeted" when referring to LGBT people - which probably goes to show that I'm not at all on-trend or it's not a BE expression... To me, yes, "closet" is the one I'm familiar with.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Well, I don't think I've ever heard anyone BE talking about "closeted" gay people, but grammatically-speaking there's nothing wrong with it. Maybe it's something that you're more likely to see in written form. If I saw a document discussing "closeted gay people" that would look fine to me and I wouldn't think there was anything weird about it.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Well, if we're talking about grammar, I would have said that "closeted" implies the passive i.e. that someone has "closeted" someone else, whereas "closet" is less specific.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Well, if we're talking about grammar, I would have said that "closeted" implies the passive i.e. that someone has "closeted" someone else, whereas "closet" is less specific.
    True,and also in tandem with "Christian" it brings to mind "cloistered", i.e. shut away in a monastery.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Well, if we're talking about grammar, I would have said that "closeted" implies the passive i.e. that someone has "closeted" someone else, whereas "closet" is less specific.
    That didn't occur to me at all :D It still doesn't sound weird to me though.
     

    ElFrikiChino

    Senior Member
    Italian (Mantova)
    Wow, I trigger a whole discussion. Anyway, I'm more familiar with AE and I'm 100% sure I've heard and read of closeted someone. Maybe in BE is not that common :confused:

    EFC
     

    longplay

    Banned
    italian
    I would suggest the italian short sentence "in incognito" (no one knows they are Christians , except them and 2,3,...other persons, maybe). Ciao.
    PS Anche "nascostamente Cristiani" o "Cristiani di nascosto"o "Cristiani in segreto, non dichiaratamente Cristiani".
     
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    Icara

    New Member
    Italian
    Why not? Is it only used when talking about LGBT people? (here)

    EFC

    Nope, it is not "closeted". However, at this point the meaning is clear.
    Perhaps, seeing as "closet" is used for coming-outs, the author wanted to use a light style (as he does anyway) or crack a joke to say "secretly" (in this case, "cripto-cristiani" would suit it!). I read an example posted in the Forum talking about "a closet poet". It seems quite similar now (thanks to your explanations!).

    Thank you Longplay for the suggestions, they seem perfect.
     
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    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    So what's a closeted gay, in your opinion? Not what I said below, I hope!:D
    They both mean the same thing to me - they're just used differently. 'Closet gay' is a noun (isn't that what we call a compound noun? ) and 'closeted gay' is a noun with an adjective attached to it (I presume that has a name, but grammar and I are enemies :rolleyes:). :)
     
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    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    If I were asked to point out the difference between "closet gay" and "closeted gay" I'd say that, to me, closeted is somehow more forceful than closet (which is, too, an adjective here) as if the person had no choice but to remain in the closet.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    If I were asked to point out the difference between "closet gay" and "closeted gay" I'd say that, to me, closeted is somehow more forceful than closet (which is, too, an adjective here) as if the person had no choice but to remain in the closet.
    I don't see that difference, Paul, but maybe some do. I also think that that 'closet gay' is used as a noun here (you will sometimes see a hyphen between the two words) just like closet queen, but I'm not into grammar, as I said earlier. :)
     
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