old enough for Social Security

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
By the time they got to the Bolton home in Marysville, it was almost three o’clock and the heat was like a hammer. They crowded into the small living room, where the air conditioner –a noisy window-shaker that looked to Ralph old enough for Social Security –did its best to keep up with so many warm bodies.
Source: Outsider by Stephen King

Does the bolded phrase refer figuratively to the window-shaker that qualifies for some kind of social support to right?

Glossary:
"window shaker" is a slang for a window mount AC unit. The old ones used to have pretty noticable vibration.

Thank you.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You didn't even need to googe this one! :) WRF has an entry right here social security - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    ˈso•cial seˈcu•ri•ty, n. [uncountable]
    • Government [often: Social Security] a program of old age, unemployment, health, disability, and survivors' insurance maintained by the U.S. government through employer and employee payments.
    • Government any public program providing for economic security and social welfare.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    In the U.S., Social Security is an income supplement from the federal government.
    The earliest you can receive benefits is at age 62.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. I find it odd that a window-shaker qualifies for social security. I guess this goes with the pretence of creative writing.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Thank you. I find it odd that a window-shaker qualifies for social security. I guess this goes with the pretence of creative writing.
    It isn't a "window shaker"; it is instead a window-mounted air conditioner. It is described as a "noisy window shaker" because it makes noise and vibrates as it works -- which are not things a well-functioning modern air conditioner should do. Ralph notes that the air conditioner is old, although it is unlikely that the air conditioner really was installed in the 1950s (that is, more than 62 years ago) as the sentence would suggest. Note that only people, and not machines, qualify for old-age pensions from the government.
     
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