swell guy


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Joe's co-worker: Joe was a little ethically challenged. Double-dipped on commissions and whatnot. When the market contracted, the whisper was he started working with a less-desirable element. Not Tradewinds Real Estate kind of people. Here's my card if you need me.

Officer Parker: Will do. (To her partner Nathan) All right, so this Joe seems like a swell guy.
Source: Haven Season 1 Episode 7

Background: Joe, a crooked real estate agent who worked for Tradewinds, was found brutally sliced into several lines down his body in his own office. Agent Parker and Nathan were interviewing one of his co-workers, who said Joe had engaged in a number of unethical business practices. After the co-worker exercised herself and walked away, Parker turned to her partner Nathan for opinions.

Hi, The definitions of "swell" as an adjective given by WR Dictionary appear to be positive.
1 excellent; very good.
2 archaic smart; fashionable.

Given that Joe was an unethical man, I think Parker was using "swell guy" sarcastically. But I'm not sure of the exact meaning of "swell" in the literally sense. Free of context, does "swell guy" mean an excellent guy?
  • redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    I appreciate your help Filsmith. Is "swell" an Americanism with an archaic ring as the WR Dictionary suggests?
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