lopsided

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Hese

Senior Member
German
Hello!

Could you please help me clear up the mystery of the word "lopsided" and its usage?

My dictionary states that it's synonymous with one-sided. But I don't trust synonyms because most of the time, there is a slight difference.

I read this word in The Economist, so maybe the word is formal? I have never heard in real life, though.

Thank you
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    The word can be used in informal settings. Can you provide the sentence?

    lopsided
    1 askew, awry(p), cockeyed, lopsided, wonky, skew-whiff
    turned or twisted toward one side; "a...youth with a gorgeous red necktie all awry"- G.K.Chesterton; "his wig was, as the British say, skew-whiff"

    2 ill-proportioned, lopsided, one-sided
    out of proportion in shape
     

    Hese

    Senior Member
    German
    I can't find the quotation from The Economist but I've got another one (quite similar context) from the web:

    Like most young people who emerge from our school system, your viewpoint is rather lopsided
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Here's the latest use of the word in the Economist print edition (March 13 on the London Mayoral Election):

    From the balcony on the top floor of the London mayor's lopsided plate-glass office on the south bank of the Thames, the din is deafening.

    This suggests that one side of the office is rather higher than the other, or that something makes the office dramatically unsymmetical.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    A lopsided point of view is one that only encompasses one side of the issue. 'One-sided' would be an acceptable synonym here. However, if a physical object is lopsided, it is not one sided.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I suspect it's more often used formally in BE. I don't see anything slangy about it at all.
    Perhaps this is an AE/BE difference. I don't think that the word cannot be used in some formal contexts, but to me it has a less serious register. I wouldn't expect a U.S. president, for example, to talk about a "lopsided trade balance." (Well, maybe this president, but not most others...)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Could a president in a speech talk about a lopsided building without risking the dignity of his office? A British Prime Minister could, I think, without raising the least eyebrow.
     
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