If we're making playoffs gotta beat lowly teams like Tampa

< Previous | Next >

allegroepitaffio

Senior Member
Italian Italia
Hello everybody,

I'm not sure I've comprehended the word "lowly", in the sentence in object, in the right way.
Context: I was reading posts on a San Francisco 49ers forum and one of the users wrote:
"Must win game in week 1
If we're making playoffs gotta beat lowly teams like Tampa"
I've checked WR and a few dictionaries but the meanings are almost the same in each and every one.
My guess: the guy thinks we have to win the game vs. Tampa easily if we want to make it to the playoff.
(Tampa isn't in an high position in power rankings this year)
Am I right? if so, the use of the word "lowly" with this meaning is correct?

Thank you.
 
  • Nikined

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It means "weak teams", "outsiders". I think that if it was an adverb, it would be in the end of the sentence or, maybe, before the verb (gotta lowly beat)
     
    Last edited:

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    I disagree with Nikined that 'lowly' means 'outsiders' here. Tampa Bay is, though, a weak team. 'Lowly' can mean 'low in position,' and Tampa Bay was low in the standings last year and presumbly will be again this year.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Lowly" is an adjective modifying"teams", meaning of a lower standard or of less importance. It says nothing about how easy it will be to win, just that the 49ers must win these sorts of games.
     

    Nikined

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I disagree with Nikined that 'lowly' means 'outsiders' here. Tampa Bay is, though, a weak team. 'Lowly' can mean 'low in position,' and Tampa Bay was low in the standings last year and presumbly will be again this year.
    So "outsider" is an exact synonym for "underdog"? I just thought it was about table standings which apparently isn't
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    So "outsider" is an exact synonym for "underdog"?
    Not at all. "Outsider" would be used to describe teams unlikely to win the competition as a whole. "Underdog" describes the team unlikely to win a particular match. Two outsiders can play each other in a match. One of them may be the underdog for that match.

    "Outsider" is not usually used where only two teams are involved. "Underdog" is not usually used where more than two teams are involved.
     

    allegroepitaffio

    Senior Member
    Italian Italia
    Thank you for the explanation.
    One last thing. "Lowly" with this meaning is habitually used?
    As I recall is the first is the first time I bump into it with this meaning.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    What do you mean by "with this meaning"? The meaning here is no different from the meaning of "lowly" anywhere else. It is always a relative term, lowly from the viewpoint of the speaker or writer (or the viewpoint they wish to convey). To a king, a count may be lowly. To an ordinary citizen, a count is among the most exalted of citizens.

    "Lowly" is not particularly common, but it fits the situation, and I cannot think of another word that would work so well.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word outsider is not used like that in American English when talking about sports. That definitely confused me at first and it's probably what confused Roxanne, too.

    A lowly team is just a bad team. It's a team that hasn't done at all well lately and there is no reason to believe they have improved. It's a normal word in this context in American English.

    The NFL does have rules to try to keep the teams balanced fairly. So, it's possible for any team, however bad, to beat any other team in one game. There are no guaranteed wins.

    So the writer is saying that the 49ers need to not take it for granted that they will beat the Tampa team even though the Tampa team is not very good at all. The 49ers still need to play well and make sure they win because later on they will play harder teams that are not as easy to beat. They need every possible win they can get (just like every team) and the win from this game needs to go to them. If they can't consistently beat the lowly teams, then it will be an indication they are not good enough to make it into the playoffs.
     
    Last edited:

    allegroepitaffio

    Senior Member
    Italian Italia
    What do you mean by "with this meaning"? The meaning here is no different from the meaning of "lowly" anywhere else. It is always a relative term, lowly from the viewpoint of the speaker or writer (or the viewpoint they wish to convey). To a king, a count may be lowly. To an ordinary citizen, a count is among the most exalted of citizens.

    "Lowly" is not particularly common, but it fits the situation, and I cannot think of another word that would work so well.
    I was thinking about the meaning that I found on WR, (humble, modest, meek and to a low degree depending on the situation). I wouldn't use any of that in the sentence I quoted.
    Anyway, now I have understood. So, thank you very much.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top