He had a nasty outlook.

Egoexpress

Senior Member
Hungary, Hungarian
Hey there,

Suppose a thief steals your bag, you go to the police station to report the theft and you're asked what he looked like and you say:

- He had a nasty outlook.

- He's got a bad outlook.

I mean he looked like a criminal, wearing dirty clothes a hooded pullover, I don't want to offend anybody who wear that kind of clothes anyway.
How would you say the same thing?

Thank you!
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I would check a dictionary, Egoexpress. It doesn't mean appearance at all. It refers to ones attitude (e.g. towards life, the way one looks at things); or prospects or a forecast (likely outcome). It can simply mean simply a view: what can be seen from somewhere.
     

    Thawt

    Member
    Polish
    Neither of the ways doesn't seem to be right...Use "looks" instead of "outlook"

    --what did he look like?
    --he had/ he's got a nasty looks...
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Hmm, 'nasty outlook' and 'bad outlook' generally describe a person's attitude, not appearance. I hear them widely used as (I suppose) shorter versions of the phrase 'a bad outlook on life'.
    There are a variety of phrases you could use to express appearance, though. He looked: dirty, (very) rough, like a street urchin, like he crawled out from under a rock, like a hoodlum/gang-banger, etc.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Neither of the ways doesn't seem to be right...Use "looks" instead of "outlook"

    --what did he look like?
    --he had/ he's got a nasty looks...
    I'm sorry, Thawt, but that is wrong. You have 'a' (meaning 'one') with looks (in the plural), but also 'nasty looks' cannot be used to describe a person's appearance. You could say "He gave me nasty looks", which means he looked at me in a nasty way, as if he would like to do me some harm; or you can say "he looked nasty", which means he looked like a horrible, unpleasant sort of person. This last is perhaps nearest to the description we need.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Like a gang-banger, Cypher? Is that what you meant to say? Do they have a particular look?

    Like Elwintee, I'd incline towards "He looked nasty" - or, in the best tradition of the British murder mystery, "He looked like a right bad 'un" (bad one).
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Yes, that is what I meant. Ego's description does tend to suggest it. The traditional look is baggy pants/jeans, hoodie (hooded pullover), and the appropriate colors (gang colors). I don't know that cleanliness is often a top concern, either.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yes, that is what I meant. Ego's description does tend to suggest it. The traditional look is baggy pants/jeans, hoodie (hooded pullover), and the appropriate colors (gang colors). I don't know that cleanliness is often a top concern, either.
    Clearly it means something different to each of us :)
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Ah, now I see what you mean. ;)
    Well, I know in the West and South (and I'm pretty sure in the East, too), we use the verb 'gang-bang' for what you have in mind. We use the noun 'gang-bangers' (often shorted to just 'bangers', which is basically 'sausages' in BE, right?) for gang members who are willing to or even enjoy street fighting.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Ah, now I see what you mean. ;)
    Well, I know in the West and South (and I'm pretty sure in the East, too), we use the verb 'gang-bang' for what you have in mind. We use the noun 'gang-bangers' (often shorted to just 'bangers', which is basically 'sausages' in BE, right?) for gang members who are willing to or even enjoy street fighting.
    There seems to be a wide gulf between AE and BE here. In the UK gang-bang means multiple rape of a single woman by a number of men.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Ah, now I see what you mean. ;)
    Well, I know in the West and South (and I'm pretty sure in the East, too), we use the verb 'gang-bang' for what you have in mind. We use the noun 'gang-bangers' (often shorted to just 'bangers', which is basically 'sausages' in BE, right?) for gang members who are willing to or even enjoy street fighting.
    I see that now.

    I guess I don't bring myself to use Urban Dictionary often enough!
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    There seems to be a wide gulf between AE and BE here. In the UK gang-bang means multiple rape of a single woman by a number of men.
    Ah, well, we would call that gang-rape. Not that the other term is particularly pleasant, but it tends to imply a consensual situation, now. When I was much younger, it did have the meaning that you describe, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised to find that many people still think of it that way.
     

    Thawt

    Member
    Polish
    I'm sorry, Thawt, but that is wrong. You have 'a' (meaning 'one') with looks (in the plural), but also 'nasty looks' cannot be used to describe a person's appearance. You could say "He gave me nasty looks", which means he looked at me in a nasty way, as if he would like to do me some harm; or you can say "he looked nasty", which means he looked like a horrible, unpleasant sort of person. This last is perhaps nearest to the description we need.

    but dont u But don't you use "looks" in meaning "beauty" "apperance"? say 4 Say for example --"She had THE good looks" or "I was attracted by her good looks"? in meaning she was a good looking girl?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    .. you're asked what he looked like and you say:

    - He had a nasty outlook.

    - He's got a bad outlook.

    I mean he looked like a criminal, wearing dirty clothes a hooded pullover...
    This is highly subjective. Many people wearing hooded pullovers and dirty clothes do not give the impression of being criminals. They might be vagrants, homeless, or "ordinary" folks on their way home to shower after a game of football, or a day doing manual labor.

    On to your sentence. You wish to tell the authorities that —
    — he had a mean/nasty/dangerous look/appearance.

    or

    — he looked mean/tough/nasty/etc.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I wouldn't tell the cops he looked threatening, mean, or dangerous. I'd get more specific and they will come to that conclusion themselves.

    I'd say he was a skinny, tall, dirty thug, about six feet one, he smelled like pot and booze, his black hooded sweatshirt had a cigarette burn on the sleeve, and he limped when he ran away.

    In other words, I'm not sure what you're asking. If you want to know what to say to the police to describe an attacker in English, it's best to be specific.

    If, however, what you want here is a sentence that starts out the story about being mugged by someone, then I like what Cuchuflete suggested:

    Or something like this:
    He was a dirty-looking thug who appeared mean and dangerous.

    AngelEyes
     
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