looked very common

Anne Frank

Senior Member
Russian
Hi there! Is it more likely that «common» means «vulgar» or «ordinary»/«regular» in the text below?

She also noticed that the women were regularly set upon by two German prisoners—not guards—and she took the trouble to investigate. <——-Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->The other prisoner was a German girl called Gerda. She was fat, aged about twenty-two, about five feet three inches tall, and looked very common. Both women were savagely brutal to the Jewish arrivals and beat them without mercy with sticks and anything else that came handy on numerous occasions.

The source is Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm.

Thanks a lot for helping.
 
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  • Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    It's common in the sense that the woman looked unrefined, unsophisticated and 'lower class'. In other words, not someone who could be described as a 'lady'.

    It doesn't mean common in the sense of something which is commonly found, widespread or unremarkable.
     

    Anne Frank

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I am not sure the author makes the distinction you are making, Anne Frank.
    Her appearance was the opposite of ladylike.
    This is not uncommon where I live!
    Thanks!

    It's common in the sense that the woman looked unrefined, unsophisticated and 'lower class'. In other words, not someone who could be described as a 'lady'.

    It doesn't mean common in the sense of something which is commonly found, widespread or unremarkable.
    Thanks!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    That usage is not common in the U.S. so I wasn't sure exactly what it implied.
     
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