have this look about them

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redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
The exceptions are the kids from the wealthier districts, the volunteers, the ones who have been fed and trained throughout their lives for this moment. The tributes from 1, 2, and 4 distrcits traditionally have this look about them.

Source: The Hunger Game

I wonder if "about" here means "around" or "have this look written all over them" here. Thanks
 
  • daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    When the term "have this look about them" is used, it is talking about their appearance. For example, you can take an insecure person and confident person, dress them the same and put them side by side and you can probably tell which is which. The confident person will look you in the eye, stand up straight while the insecure person will tend to look away and slouch a little. So you can say that confident people have a "look about them", which states that you can look at them and sense who they are.
    Like your note above, the kids from the wealthier districts stand out in the crowd. You can tell by looking at them which ones they are.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    When the term "have this look about them" is used, it is talking about their appearance. For example, you can take an insecure person and confident person, dress them the same and put them side by side and you can probably tell which is which. The confident person will look you in the eye, stand up straight while the insecure person will tend to look away and slouch a little. So you can say that confident people have a "look about them", which states that you can look at them and sense who they are.
    Like your note above, the kids from the wealthier districts stand out in the crowd. You can tell by looking at them which ones they are.
    Thanks daviesri, based on your example, can I say the insecure man don't have a look about him?
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    No, they have a look about them also, it is just different. They tend to slouch and not make eye contact.
    I am sure in your life, there are people you can look at and tell if they are rich or poor, good or bad,....... You can do this because by looking at the person you can make assumptions about them. They are well groomed, sloppy looking..... You are making these assumptions based on "a look about them". They have an appearance that allows you to make an assumption about them.
     
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