half a world away

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I am reading the "Papaya" by Thomas McGuane.
In the following context:
"It was more than peculiar that Errol had made a career insuring ships and boats, mostly commercial fishing boats, trawlers, long-liners, northern draggers, and even a processing ship half a world away" I can't understand what is half a world away.
Does it means that he insured ships from around the world, which came to Key West (because his office was at Key West?) Or something else?
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    If his office is in Key West, then half a world away will be 90° east or west of there, say Italy or New Zealand.

    But half a world away is almost always used as a metaphor for "a very long way away".
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