No man is an island but some of us are long peninsulas.

  • Strelitzian

    Senior Member
    the first part of the sentance is the classic proverb "no man is an island" which means that, as Josubilbao says, human beings aren't designed to be alone.

    The second part, "but some of us are long peninsulas" has different meanings, depending how you prefer to read it. On hand, it's a play on the word "penis", of which the slang word is "dick" meaning a horrible person. Therefore, the sentence is a humourous comment about how some people can be really horrible, but not all.

    You could also say that "peninsula", since it reaches out further from an "island", if you will, is a way of saying that people may be physically lonely, but want to reach out.

    A little more context would be useful with this.


    Senior Member
    This is a play on a famous line from a work, Meditation XVII, by John Donne.

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

    To deduce the implication of what you have quoted we need to know the background, context and source.

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    I fear it might be crasser still - obviously the first part is a ref to Donne; I think the second part might rather be implying that "some of us" (i.e. by implication the speaker) have long (large) penises..

    "Peninsula" might be made to sound like a word that could mean "connected with the penis", cf. joke words like "breastular".


    Senior Member
    <Moderator note: Let the guessing games cease! The speculations presented so far may be correct or entirely off-the-mark. We need context to know what is implied. Let us wait for context before replying.>


    Senior Member
    English UK
    "No man is an island." is an English proverb.

    "No man is an island - but some of us are long peninsulas." is a French one.

    What makes you say that, whynottail?:confused:

    According to google, the "peninsulas" sentence was created by Ashleigh Brilliant, an author and cartoonist from California.

    As explained here, for example:
    Mr. Brilliant likes to take a common phrase, break off the stem and graft on something that twists in a new direction. "I start with something and then try to complete the thought in a totally unexpected way," he says. One example: "No man is an island, but some of us are long peninsulas."

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It means some of us are almost islands or almost an island. There's not much difference between an island and a peninsula. Understanding 'almost an island' depends on how one understands what John Donne meant by 'no man is an island'

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the suggestion is that some of us are very nearly islands; we don't have much contact with others. Remember the etymology of peninsula (an almost island).

    I think the idea behind the long is to make the connection with land seem even more tenuous.


    Senior Member
    "No man is an island but some of us are long peninsulas" -- what does the sentence imply?...

    No man is an island. You can not be like an island where after something/someone has once visited, just being left again with having nothing from them/their visit.

    Every man is not entirely alone, for they often do something better when they are connected with each other with any possible way.

    But some of us are long peninsula. Since no man is an island there would be needed the word for the replacement. And that word is long peninsula. Even though no man is an island there are some people being alone. The longer peninsula , the more similar with being an island.
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